Electrical Safety in The Home at Christmas

Your local electrician has put together a few tips and videos to keep you safe in your home this Christmas.

Keep you and your families safe this Christmas by taking a few minutes to read our top tips to electrical safety at Christmas.

Hair dryers/stylers

Over 650,000 house fires have been started by electrical beauty products like hair straighteners being left switched on.  I have a wife and 2 daughters who all have their own hair thingybobs. When they have finished using them, I (tactfully) encourage them to switch them off and put them away!  Many peoples social calendars are full of Christmas parties and events! Look good and stay safe with our guide to using electrical beauty products safely.  Hair straighteners, and other electrical beauty products, are seen by many as an essential. But they can be very dangerous, particularly to children.  Please remember once finished using them to switch off, unplug and leave in a safe place to cool.

Straighteners can reach temperatures of over 220°C and then take up to forty minutes to cool down after use. Straighteners can cause severe burns if they touch the skin, with children particularly vulnerable as their skin can be 15 times thinner than adults.

The majority of hair straightener burns among children happen when toddlers touch, grab or tread on the hot hair straightener plates. Nearly half of all adults have also received a burn from a heated hair appliance.

  • Keep hair straighteners out of reach of children
  • Children’s skin can be 15 times thinner than that of adults so it’s important to keep them out of reach of little feet and hands.
  • Use a heat proof pouch. Hair straighteners stay hot up to forty minutes after they have been switched off. A heat proof pouch is the easiest and safest way to store a product after use.
  • Keep them away from skin
  • Do not allow the any of the hot plates to come into contact with the face, neck or scalp when using straighteners.
  • In the event of a serious burn, follow the “three Cs”:

– Cool the burn with running tap water for 20 minutes if within three hours of burn injury. Do not apply ice, butter or toothpaste. Remove any clothing, jewellery or nappies.

– Call for help – 111, 999 or your local GP for advice

– Cover the cooled burn with loose Clingfilm or a clean non-fluffy cloth. Warm the patient.


Christmas Lights

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.

To help prevent the most common electrical problems with Christmas lights, and to enjoy a safe and happy festive season, we recommend the following simple precautions and checks.


read and follow the manufacturers’ instructions

check your Christmas lights are not damaged or broken before use and look out for loose wires

use only replacement bulbs of the same type and rating as those originally supplied with the lights

ensure all outdoor lights are connected via a 30mA RCD protected socket

replace failed lamps immediately to prevent overheating

ensure plugs and transformers are plugged in indoors, even if the lighting is suitable for outdoor use

switch your lights off and unplug them before you go to bed or go out

keep lights away from flammable decorations and materials that can burn easily



use lights outdoors unless they are specially designed for such use

connect different lighting sets together

connect lights to the supply whilst still in the packaging

remove or insert lamps while the chain is connected to the supply

overload sockets – try to avoid the use of extension leads or adaptors

attempt to repair faulty lights – replace them

use lights that are damaged or faulty


Overloaded Sockets

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!  With all the extra lights and decorations being plugged in over Christmas, make sure you aren’t overloading your sockets.  Guests can also lead to extra demands on your sockets so ensure they know where they can plug their electrical items in safely.  Check your plug sockets are not overloaded with too many electrical appliances as this can lead to overheating

Chargers and Transformers

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.


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! Also be wary that Electric hobs are hot still after you have finished using them.

New Years 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.

Fake and counterfeit Items

See our blog on how to spot and deal with fake and counterfeit electrical items


Smoke Detectors

Make sure you have a working smoke detector in case something does go wrong.  Test your smoke alarms at least once a month.  You should have at least one smoke alarm on each floor of your home and a heat detector in the kitchen.  Interlinked Mains smoke alarms with a battery backup are the most reliable.

Have a great Christmas.

If you are based in the Croydon and Sutton Areas and need safety advice from your local electrician please call Anthony on 020 8914 8297.

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Your Local Electrician

Anthony Jones

I'm an electrician based in Surrey. I run two small family business called Wandle Electrical Services  and The London Electric Radiator Company. I'm also a MCS certified solar panel installer.