Health and Safety Update: Electrical safety over the festive period

As we all get ready for the festive period, many of you will be putting additional lights up to celebrate within your building, whether its internal or external.

With these additions in mind, here is a bit of guidance to help you keep safe and reduce the possibility of a fire.

Did you know over an average of 770 fires are caused by Christmas lights every year? Another concern with Christmas lights is slips, trips & falls in a workplace due to trailing cables.

Here is how to prepare and use good safety practices for internal and external lighting to avoid you, or those around you, being hurt

  1. Use battery operated lights instead of main electric. 
  2. Replace any missing or broken bulbs. 
  3. If the wire is damaged or broken do not use them, replace them. 
  4. Make sure the lights are the correct type, you need to see if they are internal or external lights. Outdoor lights get hotter than indoor lights.
  5. Look for the UK marking on your new light boxes, this means that they have met UK safety standards.
  6. Prevent trip hazards with trailing cables.
  7. Make sure you switch your lights off when you leave work or go to bed. 
  8. Don’t leave your light up all year round as most lights are not meant to be used long term. 
  9. If you are putting a tree up in your workplace, put it behind the reception desk so everyone who visits your reception will see the tree. By putting it in the waiting area, it could easily get damaged, and the lighting could get damage without you knowing. A child or  adult could be harmed by the lighting and, or, decorations.
  10. Avoid putting decorations around the lights. They could catch a light with the bulbs over heating. LED lights would be the best option.
  11. Never use staples or pins to hang lights. Sharp objects will pierce the wiring and, not only cause a possible electric shock, but also start a fire if unnoticed.

If in any doubt, always check the manufactures guidance notes they have supplied with the light.

Usually these can be found in your bin, as you have thrown them away with the packaging feeling you know what to do. 

If you have had your lights for a few years and regularly check them then the manufactures notes or website address can be found on the label at the end of your lights.

We at CHP want you to be safe at work, and hope that you can also take some of these safe practices home with you, so your home is safe too, especially at this festive time of year!

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