Electrical safety at Christmas

Ho ho ho! The festive season is in full swing and homes across the UK are twinkling with fairy lights and Christmas cheer.

But are you taking dangerous risks with your safety during the holidays? We've highlighted some common activities that may be putting you and your family in danger, with some simple tips to help you stay safe.

Christmas Trees

A "real" Christmas tree is a popular choice when it comes to turning your home into a winter wonderland. But, did you know that a real tree can catch fire a lot quicker than a fire retardant artificial one, so consider buying one of the fabulous fakes that are available - the only time Electrical Safety First will advise you to buy a "fake"!

If you do have a real Christmas tree:

  • Make sure that you keep it well watered. Real trees can absorb up to a litre of water a day and it's important that you don't let it dry out.
  • Don't spray hairspray on the pine needles to stop them dropping off - it's VERY flammable!
  • Keep it well away from heat sources, particularly portable heaters.
  • Make sure your lights are safe. If you are one of the 85% of Brits planning to decorate your tree with colourful lights, follow our advice.
Prepare to Party

Half of UK women have panicked that they have gone out and forgotten to turn their hair straighteners off. Follow our advice - switch them off and put them away!

Deck the Halls

Christmas lights brighten up homes across the UK but can be an electrical safety risk. One in twelve people confess to leaving their Christmas lights on overnight, potentially endangering their households as lights can overheat and create a fire hazard. Give the lights a break - switch them off when you're not there to enjoy them.

Don’t overload sockets and try to avoid the use of extension leads or adaptors – it’s easy to trip if you’re a bit too merry!

Driving Home for Christmas

Packing up and preparing a Christmas playlist for the car or train? Make sure you don't leave your laptop or mobile device charging on the bed while you get ready to leave. Always use a hard surface and don't overcharge your devices. And avoid charging your phone overnight or using cheap, unbranded chargers. Overcharging can cause some adaptor to become a fire risk.

Cook up a festive feast!

Nearly half of us have admitted to leaving cooking unattended - and with a house full of family and friends celebrating Christmas it's easy to get distracted.  So, watch what you heat and don't cook when you've had a few glasses of festive cheer!

New Year's Resolutions

If you're planning to give up smoking, e-cigarettes can help you along the way. But make sure you use the correct charger. If you use a cheap, unbranded one it may be a resolution you regret.

Find out more
  • Everything you need to know about using Christmas lights safely
  • With all the extra lights and decorations being plugged in over Christmas, make sure you aren't overloading your sockets
  • Our Safe Shopping guide will help you steer clear of counterfeit goods when shopping online
  • Stay safe in the kitchen when you're cooking up a festive feast