Alto Electrical want you to get “Lit Up” for Christmas…Safely!

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by COLEEN EVERITT

As we approach the festive season, we are all starting to think about getting our Christmas decorations down from the loft and making the home feel a bit more cheery, something I’m sure we are all looking forward to, after such a dismal year.

But, before you clad your tree in twinkly lights, I just want you to check a few things to ensure that you have a safe and uneventful Christmas, for the right reasons.

Important Steps to Staying Safe at Christmas time

1. Make sure you inspect your lights. I recommend using your hands to do this, with them unplugged; just run your hands over the length of the cable, feeling for nicks and cuts. If they are damaged, do not use them.

2. Make sure you use LED Christmas lights. Old halogen or filament lamps do look pretty but they get very hot and can easily cause fires. LEDs have a low working temperature, so they are unlikely to ignite.

3. Check that your lights are suitable for where you are using them; outside lights will need to have a higher IP (ingress protection) rating than indoor lights.

4. Make sure your sockets are RCD- (residual current device) protected, especially if they are feeding Christmas tree or outside lights.

How do you know if your sockets are RCD protected?

In your board there should be devices that have a button with a ‘T’ or the word ‘test’ on them. These are RCDs or RCBOs (residual current circuit breakers). If you press it, it should trip the device, and this will turn off the circuit.

To work out which circuits are RCD-protected, you can simply go around the house seeing what works when they are all turned off. If you are not sure if you have RCD protection, feel free to send a picture of your fuse board to our Alto Electrical Facebook page and we’ll help advise you.

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