The snow isn’t quite on the ground and the jingle of Santa’s sleigh bells are still slightly out of earshot, but most households are at least starting to get into the swing of the festive season. We thought now would be a good time to put out a reminder about keeping safe this Christmas, with a special focus on your electrics.
We don’t know about you, but we love driving along and seeing houses aglow with icicles hanging, trees twinkling and houses and gardens bursting with light. And that’s just on the outside!
In many of our homes, we have a lot more going on than lights on the Christmas tree. Of course, all this Christmas wonderment needs to be powered and the assumption is that we can simply keep adding to our domestic electrics.
However, we need to be careful that we don’t overload the consumer unit (fuse board), the sockets themselves, or the extension leads that trail about our homes.
While adaptor plugs are extremely handy, it can be all too easy to keep adding them to power high demand appliances and gadgets.
If something goes wrong, the best case is the fuse trips and you can work out what caused the overload. Modern systems are so sensitive that even a small fault or a lightbulb blowing can be enough to trigger the safety mechanisms.
However, not all electrics are created equal and it’s not uncommon to see homes with 20+ year old consumer units that are not as reliable as more recent models.
In these cases, if the fuse doesn’t trip, faulty appliances or devices can continue to draw power and may ultimately overheat or even catch fire.
As we’ve reported before, a staggering number of house fires are caused by faulty electrics. In the UK alone there are around 8000 domestic fires caused by electrical issues. For this reason, Christmas is a time to be extra vigilant, as we pull those old fairy lights and decorations down from the loft to give them their annual showing.
And please be extra careful with trailing extension leads, which are a trip hazard. Far better to arrange to ask a qualified electrician to install additional sockets where you need them, with the long-term benefit of being able to use them all year round in safety.
More than anything, we hope you have a marvellous Christmas break and that 2020 is all you hope it to be.