Majority of the UK will be putting up their Christmas decorations this weekend, and with everyone wanting to ‘out do’ their neighbours on who has the most brightly lit house, here are some tips from NICEIC and Rose Jackson on how to stay electrical safe this Christmas.
More thought is going into Christmas decorations than ever before, from elaborate tree dressing to light-up Santa’s on display. With this in mind, NICEIC, the UK’s leading body for registered electricians, is reminding homeowners to be aware of the dangers that can arise from plugging in additional Christmas décor around the home; much of which has lain dormant for 11 months.
With the nation’s Christmas love affair getting grander each year, Darren Staniforth, technical expert at NICEIC, provides his advice of keeping electrics safe this festive season: “The Christmas lights display is one of the best bits of Christmas. Many households really go to town in transforming their houses into multi-coloured festive extravaganzas each year – however it’s important not to get too carried away and to always put safety first.
“Some householders will plug in far too many lights on one socket which can lead to overloading, while others opt to re-wire their lights to include multiple sets which can pose a potential fire risk. Many will be unaware of the additional dangers that can arise, but we hope that with a bit of common sense and due care we can limit any Christmas catastrophes and that everyone can enjoy their time safely.”
Darren’s advice includes:
Much of the extra equipment required for elaborate plug-in decorations may need an electrical supply to power it and Christmas is traditionally a time of year when fires, caused by electrical issues, are most likely to happen. If using lighting or electrical decorations outside, further tips include:
For further information or to search for a registered electrician in your area visit www.niceic.com.
Amongst the Christmas mayhem, installing new window blinds in your home for the festive season might seem like just another thing to do on an ever-growing list. But there are some really compelling reasons why brand new blinds should be a top priority when prepping your home for the big day.
1) They Can Help You Think ‘Hygge’
Especially relevant in the lead up to Christmas, the Scandinavian concept of ‘Hygge’ (pronounced hoo-gar) encourages us to indulge a little. For interiors, it’s all about creating an inviting space that makes us feel comfortable and content. Window blinds, especially with a blackout lining, can really enhance that cosy feel, helping to insulate a room and shut out the cold weather.
2) They’ll keep you calm (and cool) and get your room temperature just right
It’s freezing outside so you need your heating turned up fully, yet in the kitchen, with pots and pans bubbling and the turkey in the oven, the atmosphere is stuffy and unbearable. If you’re struggling to find a balance, the addition of Duette® energy-saving blinds can restore a constant temperature to your home. The honeycomb structure of the blinds traps air in an insulating layer, lowering the amount of heat lost through windows by up to 46%, plus they also reduce external noise coming into a room – an added bonus!
3) They can step up home security
As homeowners fill their homes with expensive Christmas gifts, window blinds can help shut out prying eyes, making winter a great time to invest. A simple set of blinds can be an added deterrent against burglary, as explained by Mike Stephens, Director at Apollo Blinds.
“Winter is an optimum time for break-ins, with longer nights providing more cover, families travelling away to visit loved ones for Xmas and of course festive goodies stored in homes,” says Mike. “And homes where items are on view are more exposed to theft than those where window coverings are fitted.”
“Blinds prevent intruders from being able to see what they can grab quickly and Venetian blinds have the benefit of being noisy – an added deterrent,” he added. “While shutters can be locked for an extra layer of security.”
4) They Can Help Get the Guest Room ‘Guest Ready’
Where most overnight visitors aren’t expecting hotel-like accommodation, a few some simple updates can make all the difference to creating a ‘hometel’, rather than a ‘grotty B&B’ experience for seasonal houseguests venturing into the realms of the “spare room”.
A set of new window blinds can completely transform a room, so it’s time to ditch the tatty, dated or broken blinds that are dragging your décor down. Plus a simple blackout blind can mean the difference between a good night’s sleep and a great night’s sleep. Preventing morning light from streaming into the guest room at the crack of dawn can make a huge impact on your guest’s experience.
5) They can add a touch of sparkle
Every blind has a silver lining with shimmering metallic finish roller blinds. Geometric patterns, stripes, damask and leaf designs are all given the wow factor with a metallic makeover. Metallic blinds will help you enjoy windows that shimmer and shine all year round but they look especially fabulous at Christmas time.
Find more festive inspiration on our Pinterest board dedicated to getting your home ready for Christmas.