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15 Muirfield Station
Gullane, EH31
United Kingdom

01620 843 804

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Electrical Safety at Christmas

Val Chisolm

Christmas should be a magical time of year. But one small oversight, or a tiny electrical fault could spoil everything. From electric lights and decorations to fresh Christmas trees, Christmas brings with it a whole host of additional fire hazards.

There’s no need for safety fears to take the joy out of Christmas. All you need is to exercise a little extra caution, and you can enjoy the festive period while avoiding any accidents. Here are some tips from an electrician in Edinburgh about staying safe this Christmas.

Christmas Lights

There’s nothing like a twinkling Christmas tree in the corner of the room to brighten those dreary December days. But those lights could be an accident waiting to happen. The problem with Christmas tree lights, or any other type of electrical decoration for your home, is that they spend 12 months stuffed in a box and left out of the way unchecked.

As any qualified electrician in Edinburgh will tell you, lots of things could happen to your decorations while you aren’t looking: household pests could chew them, they could get damp, or repeated packing and unpacking over the course of the years could finally cause something to break.

So this year after unpacking your electric lights, before using them make sure you check them for damage or breakages, and keep an eye out for loose wires. If the bulb breaks you should replace it immediately, with the same type as used originally. Even if you are sure that your lights are safe, you should never leave them on or plugged in when you go to bed or leave the house and attended.

Switching to LED Lights

According to the Electrical Safety Council, LED lights are much better than older style filament Christmas lights. For starters they are much safer, as they operate at a significantly lower voltage than filament bulbs, so the risk of electric shock is greatly reduced. They also use a lot less power, meaning that they don’t generate much heat and therefore are unlikely to cause fire or burn you.

LEDs have some great benefits for your wallet too. They can use up to 90% less electricity than traditional filament Christmas lights, making them much cheaper to run, and also much more likely to last longer, meaning you won’t have to replace them as often. And, using less energy and being more efficient makes them environmentally friendly, so you don’t have to feel guilty about creating a magical Christmas atmosphere in your home.

Living Christmas Trees

While the dangers of a mains powered artificial tree are much more obvious, a real tree comes with its own risks. As you’ll know if you have a fireplace in your home, dry wood burns very well. For this reason you want to ensure that your tree stays fresh - don’t buy one that was cut too long ago and has had a chance to dry out. Cut a couple of inches off the bottom of the trunk before putting it in water, as exposing the fresh wood inside makes it easier for the tree to absorb water. This means it won’t dry out as quickly. You need to make sure it’s topped up with fresh water every day, though.

As you can see it only takes a few moments of checking and a little vigilance to ensure that your home is kept safe over the Christmas period. If you have any problems, don’t hesitate to get in touch with an electrician in Edinburgh.