A NEW REPORT HAS REVEALED THAT OVER THREE QUARTERS OF COMPLACENT BRITS ARE LEAVING THEIR HOMES AT RISK OF ELECTRICAL FAULT AND POTENTIAL FIRE AT CHRISTMAS.
New research, commissioned by the UK’s leading regulatory body for electricians NICEIC and ELECSA has revealed some disturbing facts about the safety of UK homes at Christmas. As 90 percent of Brits admit to decorating their home and garden in the next few weeks, less than a quarter (23 percent) would consider the impact this might have on the electrics in their home. The study, which surveyed 2,000 UK tenants and homeowners, found that 42 percent of Brits paid more attention to aesthetics than safety, with 1 in 5 admitting to feeling they needed to compete with their friends and neighbours.
Inevitably, the increase in decorative lights require the use of multiple sockets and extension leads, yet less than 3 percent were concerned about the amount of lights they were using and whether they could be of danger to their family.
‘Electrical safety in the home is important at any time of the year, but at Christmas we tend to forget that all the decorative lights we use around the home massively increase the dangers to our family. Just grabbing old lights from the loft and plugging them in isn’t acceptable. Everyone needs to be aware of the dangers and take into account the risks when getting competitive with the neighbours.’ explains Tony Cable, Senior Events Engineer for NICEIC and ELECSA.
Further causes for concern include the repeat use of lights year on year that are not properly checked (57 percent), lights used for 5 years or more (30 percent) and Brits not understanding the British Safety Kitemark (47 percent).
Vicente McNeill, an electrician from London explains ‘The most common problem that occurs at Christmas, is over-loading due to people plugging in too many lights from their garden. In my opinion, homeowners are not aware of the strain they are putting on their home systems.’
Brits are advised to think safety first when decorating their home this Christmas. NICEIC and ELECSA have identified the top five tips to ensure your home is electrically safe this Christmas;
Faulty electrics in the home account for 20,000 house fires each year, causing upwards of 70 fatalities. Most electrical issues in the home are easily preventable by ensuring your home is regularly checked by a suitable, registered electrician.
If anyone is concerned about the safety of their home electrics, or would like to obtain professional advice about their Christmas lights, they can contact SOL Electrical for help and advice.