Christmas lights come in all shapes, sizes and colours. But they're all powered in the same way, and the sheer power of the electricity running these lights can create a major hazard. Westwood Electrical have 10 tips to keep you safe this Winter.
1. Chances are, if you're re-using last years lights, they haven't been used since January. When allowed all this time to themselves, they can become worn and damaged. Make sure to check all the lights, leads and connectors before plugging them in.
2. It applies throughout the rest of the year too, but don't overload your sockets with a whole myriad of plugs. This could result in electrical shocks, but also is a major cause of fire from rogue sparks.
3. Exterior Christmas lights should always be low voltage (12V / 24V) or protected by a residual current device (RCD) to cope with the harsh Winter weather. The cables should never be threaded through doors or windows either, as this can damage them.
4. Cables left coiled up and with kinks in them can overheat due to contact. Make sure they are fully unwound and preferably not touching another part of them.
5. However, trailing wires and hanging cables are another potential hazard as they can trip people or be accessed by younger children. Make sure walkways are clear, and that they are hidden away if possible.
6. Never have any of your lights near a water source or where the chances of them getting soaked are high.
7. Christmas lights obviously look better at night, but turning them off before you go to sleep will help to lessen the risk of incident.
8. Make sure your lights have come from a reputable source. The safety standards necessary for Christmas lights to be sold are done so to keep people safe. If yours haven't been properly tested, they could cause problems. It is not an area where you want to 'buy budget'.
9. Always check for the European Standard CE mark when buying new lights.
10. In the UK, lights should be bought that are suited to the voltage they are being connected to - 230 volts. This means that a lot of foreign products will be dangerous.
If all this seems confusing, Westwood Electrical are here to guide you. Westwood Electrical have been established in Bolton for over 37 years and offer a fantastic electrician service to local people. Part P NICEIC SSAIB qualified, you can be assured that any electrical work they undertake will be done safely and in accordance with set standards.
If you'd like their help, give them a call on (01204) 689937, or visit their feature page here.
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