Christmas is a special time for celebration and should not end in tragedy because of the extra hazards that are present at this time of year. In recent years there has been an increase in reported accidents to UK Trading Standards for Christmas lighting products and in some cases, resulting in public recall notices by major high street retailers.
Whether you decide to decorate the entire house or simply just your Christmas tree, there are a number of electrical hazards that you should be aware of. Christmas is a common time for house fires, and a large proportion of these fires are directly caused by faulty electrics or electrical issues.
To reduce any unexpected accidents ruining your celebrations, we recommend taking a few minutes to read our Christmas electrical safety tips and advice.
Precautionary Christmas Decoration Measures:
Christmas lights are often neglected for a whole year and many are kept uncovered in the worst of conditions. If Christmas lights are left in unsecured packaging, we recommend discarding them immediately and replacing them with a brand new set. It is important that you thoroughly inspect and test your Christmas lights prior to decorating.
As experienced electrical contractors, we recommend following a few simple steps before you begin decorating:
Inspect Christmas Lights for any Damages
Before you begin to lighten up your Christmas tree, make sure you thoroughly check and inspect every inch of your Christmas lights. It is important to make sure you check for any split, broken or damaged wires. Exposed wiring can lead to serious injury if left unattended.
Connect Outdoor Lighting to an RCD
A residual current device, or an RCD, is a device which is designed to prevent you from receiving any potentially fatal electrical shocks if you happen to touch a live, bare wire. Connecting all outdoor lighting to one of these devices will not only prevent you from being shocked but can also provide protection against electrical fires.
Always Read and Follow Instructions on Box
Instructions are provided on or in the packaging for a reason. Before you begin to decorate your tree, make sure you read and follow all instructions provided. Some manufacturers may advise you to avoid placing decorations in certain areas, so it is important that you check these before you begin decorating.
Never Overload Power Sockets
No matter how tempting it may be, even if you are short on available sockets, NEVER overload power sockets. Overloading power sockets can lead to the socket overheating and can result in a fire.
Turn Off Lights When Leaving the House or Going to Bed
When you go to bed or decide to leave the house, make sure you remember to turn off the lights. It is common to simply forget to turn off the Christmas lights, however doing so can be very dangerous. If you feel that you may be forgetful at times, we recommend adding your decorations to a timer which will automatically turn them off after a specific time period.
Christmas Tree Safety Precautions
As we have previously mentioned, a large proportion of house fires are started around the Christmas season are caused by electrical issues. Most electrics simply require just a single spark to ignite your Christmas tree.
However, there are a few steps you can take to prevent your Christmas tree and your celebrations going up in flames.
Fire Resistant Christmas Trees
Nowadays, many people opt for an artificial Christmas tree. If this year you have decided to buy an artificial Christmas tree, make sure you choose one which is fire resistant. Alternatively, if you cannot find a fire-resistant artificial tree, you can purchase fire retardant spray which would ‘flame-proof’ your tree.
Keep Your Christmas Tree at a Safe Distance from Heat Sources
Make sure that before you begin building or decorating your tree that it is a safe distance away from any heat sources. Anything from furnaces, electric-heaters and lamps/lighting can quickly heat up and begin to burn your Christmas tree and its decorations.
Never Leave Pets or Young Children Unattended
If you have pets or young children around your home, we strongly recommend keeping an eye on them. No matter what you do, never leave your pets or young children unattended around your Christmas tree.
Regularly Water Your Christmas Tree
If you have decided to buy an authentic Christmas tree, we recommend watering it daily to prevent it from drying out. By watering your Christmas tree, your likelihood for your tree catching fire will be severely reduced. However, make sure to keep an eye out for any electrical appliances or sockets nearby.
Test Your Smoke Alarm Regularly
Although this should be tested every single month, we recommend testing your smoke alarm monthly to make sure that it is in full working condition. Regardless of how irritating or annoying it may be when you burn your dinner, never remove the batteries from your smoke alarm. The only time your smoke alarm should ever have its batteries removed is when you are replacing them.
Help Prevent Electrical Dangers this Christmas with L.E Electrical
The team here cannot stress enough the importance of electrical safety. Irrespective of the time of year, it is crucial that you take extra precautions when it comes to electrical safety to prevent any possible dangers.
If you feel you are experiencing some electrical issues within your home or property, do not take this risk this festive period. Get in touch with us today by calling us at 02393100260 or emailing us directly at email@example.com.