Christmas electrical safety tips
The festive season is underway and soon homes will be filled with twinkling lights and mouth-watering smells from the kitchen.
At the risk of sounding like the Grinch: the more electrical appliances we use, the more fire hazards we create. From overloaded sockets to neglected smoke alarms, it is vital that we’re not taking dangerous electrical safety risks this season.
Most of our plans for 2020 have already gone up in smoke – let’s not extend that to the Christmas tree too, eh?!
Fear not – HSG has the lowdown on how to keep your home safe this winter. Check out our Christmas electrical safety tips.
Don’t overload sockets and extension leads
After this challenging year, it’s understandable that you might want to go ‘all out’ with the decorations and turn your home into a veritable Christmas grotto. By all means, deck the halls to your heart’s content, but make sure you’re not overloading sockets with plugs.
Just because there’s space to cram an extension lead with plugs doesn’t mean it’s safe to do so. Never overload an extension lead by plugging in appliances that will exceed the maximum current rating, as this could cause overheating and possibly a fire. If you find yourself relying heavily on extension leads and adaptors, you may want to consider calling a registered electrician to install more wall sockets.
Fire-proof your Christmas tree
If you’re opting for a ‘real’ Christmas tree this year, it’s important to be mindful of the fire safety risks. With their tinder-dry branches and parched needles, dry trees can quickly set alight if there’s so much as a spark. Here’s what we recommend:
- Keep your tree well-watered. Real trees can absorb as much as 1 litre of water a day, so it’s important that you don’t let it dry out.
- Keep it well away from heat sources, especially electric heaters.
- Make sure your Christmas tree lights are safe, suitable for being mounted on flammable surfaces (such as wood), and can be used outside, if that’s your intention. Check your product’s instruction booklet to double-check these details.
- There are some top-notch fire retardant artificial trees available, which may give you more peace of mind.
LED lights are strongly recommended
LED lights are significantly safer and more efficient than filament bulbs. Why?
- They operate at extra-low voltage which reduces the risk of electric shock.
- They use much less power and generate significantly less heat, minimising fire risks.
- They use an estimated 80-90% less electricity than filament lamps, making them more cost-effective
- They’re more durable, as they have a tough plastic coating rather than breakable glass
- They look just as magical!
Check your smoke alarms
Cooking Christmas dinner is a mammoth task requiring military precision. All it takes is one too many glasses of sherry, and suddenly you’ve forgotten to remove one of a dozen pans from the hob or oven. It’s crucial to test your smoke alarms to make sure they’re functioning properly. Nobody wants charcoal roast spuds on their plate!
Whether you need a smoke alarm refitting or an EICR (Electrical Inspection Condition Report), the HSG team is on hand to get your home safe and sound for the Christmas period. Get in touch today!