It is supposed to be the season to be merry, but with only a few weeks to go before Christmas a new EU report has said almost a third of all festive lights on sale in Europe are hazardous.
Tests showed that many posed a serious safety risk and could result in injury or even death. Consumers are being told to take care. Catherine Verstraete from Belgian light manufacturer Ilvris said: ‘‘Avoid using light bulbs that heat up in Christmas trees, for example incandescent bulbs. With the LED, there is really no problem. You can put it in a real or false tree, there is not a problem.’‘ Random checks on some 200 samples discovered weak wiring and poor insulation in many of the Christmas lights tested. Tests were carried out at stores in five member states – Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Slovenia. Some 50 percent of the dangerous products discovered were found to come from China. The EU Commission is advising consumers to buy from reputable dealers.