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Make Sure This Christmas is One to Remember!

Make Sure This Christmas is One to Remember - For The Right Reasons!

Christmas is nearly upon us, and the rush to get last minute gifts, decorations and food is certainly underway.

According to The Independent, we spend around £820 on gifts, decorations, food and alcohol in the UK at Christmas. With the sales already starting, impulse buying certainly contributes to the revenue made by retailers. However, when it comes to purchasing electrical decorations such as Christmas lights online, consumers need to be aware that they have much more to think about than what colour they’d prefer.

There has been an overwhelming number of fires caused by hazardous Christmas lights reported in the UK over the years. The most recent statistics show that 20 fires were caused by fairy lights alone, whilst Christmas trees, decorations and cards were responsible for an additional 47 house fires. The images of Christmas trees going up in flames within seconds clearly demonstrate the dangers that are present.

Consumers should be extremely vigilant when buying any electrical items from overseas as the voltages and fuses aren’t always compliant with British or European Standards. NAPIT registered installer, Paul Lamb, contacted NAPIT after shopping for Christmas decorations online and quickly identifying two sets of lights that were not suitable for usage in the UK. He explained that one set of small LED lights had a flat two-pin plug supplied with a UK mains adapter plug; however, the original plug had a tiny 125V stamp making it incompatible for use in a UK 13A socket. The second set of lights were supplied with a 13A plug containing a 13A fuse, however the fuse shouldn’t have been more than a 3A. Both sets of lights would certainly fall under the category of high-risk fire hazards.

NAPIT’s Chief Technical Officer, Frank Bertie commented, "Every year there are a significant number of fires during the Christmas period, most often caused by faulty lights or overloaded power circuits. The public should be made aware of the dangers associated with purchasing electrical decorations. I would strongly urge people who are unqualified and dealing with festive electrics to visit their local Fire and Rescue service’s website for advice on keeping safe."

It is also vitally important when considering Christmas electric decorations and lighting for external use, that they are suitable for outdoors and have Residual Current Devices (RCDs) to provide additional protection.

To find a NAPIT registered installer in your area visit, or to find your local Fire and Rescue service visit

Article Published: 21 December 2018

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NAPIT is one of the leading Government approved and United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited membership scheme operators in the building services and fabric sector. There are currently more than 16,000 NAPIT registered installers in the electrical, heating, plumbing, ventilation, microgeneration and building fabric trades across the UK domestic, commercial and industrial markets. Read more...

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