This festive season we here at Sparks are looking at how to keep you safe from any electrical catastrophes and ensure your safety during this merry time of the year, for Christmas safety is a must.
We all know there are plenty of distractions during the holidays – distant relatives come to visit, chattering, clambering children, the big dinner to prepare, and eggnog flowing freely.
This is why it is essential to stay on top of electrical-based Christmas tree fires, overloaded circuits and various problems associated with poorly maintained lighting.
We at Sparks are at hand to help guide you through Christmas with tips on how to use RCDs and fire alarms to avert a Christmas disaster and ensure everyone has a jolly good time.
How to protect yourself from the dangers of circuit overloading this Christmas – exterior lighting
People tend to overload on Christmas lights this time of year, and this includes with exterior Christmas lighting.
Unfortunately once they are in the festive mood, people are prone to overloading various devices by plugging in Christmas lights into fixtures or using cheap screw-in adapters, which you should definitely avoid doing.
Many households put on extravagant outdoor light shows, which can often spell a recipe for disaster.
Electrical Safety First advises that all outdoor lights are protected via a 30mA RCD protected socket. We can provide plenty of these potentially life-saving RCDs here at Sparks, built to withstand the harsh outdoor winter elements.
If you are running lengthy wires to fashion an attractive outdoor display, it is imperative that you choose an extension cord that is weather resistant and designed to accommodate the necessary amount of wattage.
If things do go wrong: the best Fire Alarms for Christmas tree fires and protecting your family
According to one report 62% of British households use real Christmas trees, which are prone to drying out and are more susceptible to fire than plastic trees – especially when they go unwatered!
A study from CBS News found that 45% of people do not water their Christmas trees daily, even with the knowledge they should do. A pediatric burn surgeon warned that:
a dry tree can ignite a room a room in less than a minute and lead to one of the deadliest types of fire that can involve entire families.
The most obvious tip for avoiding this type of nasty fast-moving fire is obviously attending to your Christmas tree and observing these safety rules for not overloading your sockets.
However, if worse comes to worse, it is essential that you have the best possible fire response plan in place. We would strongly advise installing the RadioLink+ enabled Aico 3000 Series, which are able to wirelessly communicate with each other and sound of an alarm across all attached devices as soon as one is activated.
For a fast-flaming fire that would be caused by a Christmas tree fire, we would highly recommend the Aico Ei161e, an Ionisation smoke alarm that is particularly reactive to small smoke particles and speedy fires.
The Aico Ei161e is highly responsive and will react quickly enough to ensure that a small disaster doesn’t turn into a bigger one.
Any of these models come highly recommended for your living room this Christmas; once again it is always important to plan for the worse if other preventative measures don’t work.
General Tips for ensuring your safety from electrical-based fires this Christmas:
- Avoid using cheap, screw-in adapters. If you are using an adapter, make sure it is bought from a reputable source.
- Don’t overload adapters with Christmas lights.
- Ensure all outdoor lights are connected by a RCD-protected socket.
- Inspect Christmas lights before usage. Check them visually for any cracks or fractures and ensure there are no sign of stretching, that no bare wire is visible and there are no broken bulbs or bulb holders.
- Invest in LED lighting. The Technical Regulations manager from IET advised that LED Christmas lights have massive advantages to traditional lighting in terms of fire safety and energy efficiency.
- Even Christmas lights need a break, so switch them off when you’re not there to enjoy them, to avoid energy wastage and overheating.