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Best Tips for Decorating Your Home Well & Safely This Christmas!
As we move through the festive period and the echoes of Christmas cheer begin to spread, it’s that time when homeowners dust off their Christmas decorations and set themselves to untangling dazzling arrays of fairy lights. Yet many householders fail to recognise the lurking dangers that can stem from seasonal décor.
Whilst the 2022 Yuletide may be less elaborate than recent years, there is sound advice at hand for those still decking out their homes to brighten the December nights. NICEIC, the UK’s leading body for certified electrical businesses, provides here its 12 tips for keeping safe this Christmas.
After months of being stored away, Christmas lights can easily get damaged. Check your Christmas lights thoroughly to ensure they are not broken or damaged before use
Use only replacement bulbs (lamps) of the same type and rating as those originally supplied
Always switch lights off before you go to bed or go out
Do not be tempted to keep them on too long as they can overheat
Keep lights away from flammable decorations and materials that can burn easily
Avoid using extension leads or adapters wherever possible
Never attempt to repair lights by using tape
Avoid tampering with lights to string sets together
Check the wiring of the plug and make sure no bare wires are visible
Only use outdoor lights that have been specifically designed to be used outdoors. If you are unsure, check the manufacturers’ instructions
All outside sockets must be RCD protected for safety. An RCD (residual current device) works by switching off the flow of electricity when a cable or flex is damaged
We would advise that any fixed or permanent outside lighting should be installed by a certified electrical installer to ensure it complies with the appropriate safety standards
Paul Collins, Head of Technical Services for NICEIC, comments: “Faced with soaring energy prices, 54% of Brits unsurprisingly have admitted to playing down their illuminations this year and some local authorities have opted for dimming municipal lights, or culling them entirely. But as the countdown to Christmas begins, we will still no doubt enter that prime time for electrical catastrophes when wiring has degraded while in storage, socket outlets get overloaded, or homeowners riskily explore creative ways to illuminate their outdoor areas.
“Our message is simple: deck the halls without the folly. Carry out our basic safety checks and be sensible when using electricity around the home; but always call in the professionals if you need any new socket-outlets installed or rewiring carried out.”
To find your nearest NICEIC certified business, visit NICEIC.com. Or for more advice on keeping safe at home over the festive season, take a look at these Christmas Safety Tips from the UK’s electrical safety charity, Electrical Safety First.