Case 239 - Indoor Christmas lights banned in retirement village


Previously a retirement village had been allowed to put up Christmas lights in the corridor outside their apartments, but this year they are no longer permitted on health and safety grounds and because of a fire risk. However, management are allowed to display decorated and lit Christmas trees in the Village Street (an indoor area) and other public rooms.

Panel decision

There are no health and safety regulations which prevent Christmas lights being used in a public area, but in this case we understand that the local Fire Service had expressed concerns in relation to emergency escape routes and the potential for plug sockets to be overloaded. This should have been properly explained to residents rather than simply using a catch-all "health and safety" excuse. Christmas lights do not need a portable appliance test so this argument is also misleading.