Electrical Safety
This Christmas

Make Sure Your Residential Buildings Are Safe Against Electrical Fires This Christmas

‘Tis the season for festive cheer, as residents adorn their homes with twinkling lights and Christmas decorations. However, amidst the joy, it’s crucial to acknowledge the potential fire risks that come with electrical decorations, putting your building’s safety at stake.

Why electrical decorations may pose a fire risk

Did you know that Christmas Day is the day in December most likely to have a fire service called to a property? In fact, between 2017 and 2019, fire services tended to more than 2,300 fires on Christmas Day across the UK (Source: Peabody).

This is why landlords and occupants need to be aware of the electrical fire risks that these decorations can cause. We list below some of the potential fire risks during the holidays.

  • Overheating due to circuit overload: Plugging multiple appliances into outlets that are on the same series will overload the circuit. If this happens, it can cause a breaker to trip or an outlet to overheat.  Worn-out wires from storage or mishandling increase the risk of electrical fires.
  • Lamps, lightbulbs and light fittings: It’s important to follow the wattage guidelines for all light fixtures and lamps in your home and to never exceed the recommended amount.
  • Portable Heaters: Ensure portable heaters are placed away from flammable materials such as bedding, curtains, and Christmas trees. Always turn them off after use to minimise fire risks.
Make sure your residential buildings are fire-safe this Christmas.

To safeguard your building against electrical fires, ensure every new electrical appliance should have a fused, moulded plug. Plugs and adapters should conform to British Standard 1363 and carry the kitemark, which shows the plug design has been tested and passed by the British Standards Institute.

PAT testing is not a legal requirement for single-let properties, but it is recommended. According to the Government issuedGuide for landlords: electrical safety standards in the private rented sector“. The Regulations do not cover electrical appliances, only fixed electrical installations. Checking all that electrical items are in good working order is important to reduce the risk of fire.

Ensuring that residents are aware of fire exits and have easy access to fire extinguishers is crucial for their safety in case of a fire emergency. Providing information and easy access helps people react promptly and efficiently, minimising potential harm and damage. This enhances overall preparedness and contributes to a safer living environment.

outdoor christmas lights

Landlords and residents alike must remain vigilant, understanding the risks that holiday decorations can pose. The importance of regularly checking all electrical items cannot be overstated. In the spirit of celebration, let’s prioritise safety, making this festive season secure and risk-free.

Wishing you all a Merry and safe Christmas, Happy Holidays and New Year from the entire Firntec team!

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Firntec is a leading provider in building compliance and surveying consultancy. We work with landlords, organisations and UK businesses to ensure their buildings are compliant for use by all. We carry out top-quality fire risk assessments and building surveys across a multitude of sectors.
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