Switching on safely this Christmas

As people are getting into the festive spirit early to bring some cheer in a pandemic year, everyone is reminded to make their Christmas a safe one when putting up their outdoor lights.

Debbie Chachulski, education and engagement advisor at UK Power Networks, has 10 top tips to help people putting up their decorations have a safe, sustainable and enjoyable Christmas.

She said: “This year many people are getting into the festive spirit early and putting up their Christmas lights earlier than usual, we encourage them to follow our simple advice to stay safe.

“If you are installing lights this Christmas, be sure to take care and keep well clear of any cables you may see coming into your home or business, as our electricity lines are sometimes mistaken for phone lines. Anything that gets close to a live overhead electricity power line can conduct electricity which can injure or kill, even at a domestic voltage.

“Extra care should be taken to avoid any power lines which are attached to one property, then spilt off to serve homes, clipped along the front of a property.”

Debbie’s top ten tips for a safe Christmas lights switch on, are:

  • Look up and keep your ladder clear of power lines
  • Position the ladder on a stable surface
  • Inspect old festive lights, discarding any with frayed wires
  • Replace old lights with new low voltage lights
  • Check lighting used outdoors is designed for outdoor use
  • Use a residual current device (RCD) which will interrupt the power if it detects a problem
  • Keep water away from wiring when watering a real Christmas tree
  • Avoid overloading plug sockets
  • Switch fairy lights off when going out or to bed
  • Avoid trailing wires by positioning your tree near a power socket

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