It’s Christmas! That special time of year has come again. This is the season of mince pies and chocolates, of greetings cards and thoughtful gifts, of Christmas carols and parties.
… And it’s the time of year when we bring into our homes a beautiful fire hazard.
Deck the Halls
There’s something magical about a Christmas tree adorned with lights. Some trees are decorated in a tastefully minimalist style. Others are swamped with colour and bling!
So let’s do this safely.
First of all, it’s essential to check your decorations. At LCD Electrical, we recommend that your lights – and your tree, if it’s an artificial tree one – carry the CE Safety Standards mark. If there’s no CE stamp on these items, we strongly advise that they’re replaced with products that are certified as being compliant with safety standards of the EEA (European Economic Area).
One of the dangers of tree lights is that the heat emitted could, potentially, cause a tree (especially a real one) to combust. For this reason, LED lightbulbs are far safer than incandescent bulbs, because they produce a lot less heat. LED bulbs are also more economical with power, which means, of course, that they’re less expensive to run.
Before using your lights, make sure that the fuse in the plug is of the correct rating. We also recommend using a surge protection device, which, like a fuse, deals with any surge in the electrical current. Unlike a fuse, though, it won’t cut off the electricity in the middle of Mary Poppins. The SPD will sort out the problem and keep life moving!
Electrical cables are trip hazards. Place your tree near to an available plug socket so that cables don’t trail across the floor. A safe solution to this problem is to use battery-operated lights.
In the Bleak Midwinter
At this very dark time of year, it’s lovely to brighten thinks up outside with festive lights.
Any lights that you put up outside must be designed for outdoor use. They should have an IP rating of at least IP44, and they must be plugged into a socket that’s protected by an RCD (residual current device). Never use indoor lights outdoors.
There are just a few more things you can do to keep safe while your Christmas tree lights are up:
- Every now and again, just touch the cables. If they’re hot, switch off the lights for a while.
- If you need to replace a bulb, unplug the lights. Never replace a bulb when the lights are connected to the mains supply.
- Don’t overload plug sockets.
- Make sure that your smoke alarms are working. Having said that, we all know that a smoke alarm isn’t just for Christmas.
Finally – switch off the lights when you go to bed, or when there’s nobody in the house.
Merry Christmas from LCD Electrical Services (01603 559 311).