Christmas electrics should be safeMake sure your Smoke and Heat alarms are up to date and fully operational.

With all the extra cooking, the boozy parties and Christmas lighting it’s essential to check your smoke and heat alarms. You need to locate the test button on the device, push it and hold…the alarm should sound along with those of the other detectors connected. If you need assistance checking your smoke and heat alarms, or need them replaced please give us a call on 0208 265 2061 or email

For more information click here Domestic Fire Alarms – without them you’re not safe! and here How to fix your fire alarm safely


Dno't overload electrical socketsDON’T overload your electrical sockets.

As tempting as it is to plug in all your new gifts and gadgets ay once – try to avoid it! This can cause overheating and may start a fire. Only use one extension lead per socket and try not to load more than 3000W onto one outlet.

Click here for list of appliances and their power needs –  How to avoid overloading your plug sockets at home – Which? News

Switch off your Christmas lights before you go to bed!

If you’re not sure you’ll remember to turn off your lights after a few glasses of fizz, connect them to a timer at the socket which will turn them off automatically. Use a plug-through system; a socket with timer setup means that the device or appliance is plugged into it which in turn is inserted into a standard socket outlet.

Make sure your outdoor lights are connected via a Residual Current Device (RCD).

This can either be built into the fuse box, a protected socket or plug-in RCD. This will prevent shocks and electrical fires.

To read about whether you have this type of protection click here – How do you know when a fuse box needs to be replaced or just repaired?

Store your lights properly to prevent damage to the wires and connections for next yearTo make your Christmas safer next year – store your Christmas lights properly.

Don’t pull too hard on the lighting wires when pulling them down from where you’ve hung them. Try to gently untangle them from branches or bannisters. Carefully repack the lights into their original boxes without the bulbs being crushed against each other, the ‘carboard wrapping method’ is effective. Pack these boxes of lights into an airtight plastic container to keep away damp.

Don’t repair faulty Christmas lights – replace them – with LED lights!

Despite some advice online saying you can fix your lights yourself we recommend replacing defective lights to alleviate the serious risk of fire hazards. Ideally replace them with low voltage eco-friendly LED lights. The best thing about these is that if one bulb goes out, the rest stay on! They can last up to 10 times longer than regular Christmas lights.

To read more about LEDs click here Should I upgrade my traditional bulbs to LEDs? What are the benefits?

Make sure Outdoor lights and extension cords are certified for external use.

Don’t lights designed for indoor decorating in your garden or outside! They are not built to withstand outside conditions. It’s also important to make sure you use extension cords when connecting temporary outdoor that are specifically rated for outdoor use. The letter ‘W’ will be on the packaging or cord itself indicating it is designed for use outdoors.

Keep lights away from anything that might melt!Keep your lights away from flammable decorations and materials.

If you choose to buy a ‘real’ Christ as tree this year – make sure it’s carefully watered to stop it drying out and being more flammable, don’t spray it with hairspray to stop the needles falling as hairspray is flammable! Position it away from heat sources like radiators and portable heaters.

Make sure you know where your consumer is in case of emergencyMake sure you know where your fuse box/consumer unit is located.

You never know when you might need to turn off your fuse board/consumer unit in an emergency, so you need to know exactly where it is located and make sure it is easily accessible – so you can find it even if the lights are out.