Have a spark-free Jubilee! Top safety tips for your Jubilee parties

As the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations sweep the nation, many Brits are preparing for street parties and outdoor activities – complete with decorative bunting and lights. However, in the midst of the festivities, safety is often at the back of people’s minds.

There is no doubt about it – this summer in the UK is certainly one to celebrate and homeowners up and down the country will be using the long Jubilee weekend as a good excuse to get friends and families together for a street party, or a patriotic themed soiree in their back garden, stringing up bunting and lights without a second thought.

However, Tony Cable, spokesperson for NICEIC the electrical contracting industry’s independent voluntary body, is urging homeowners to be cautious:

“Brits love a reason to throw a good party, however it’s vitally important that safety remains high on the agenda for homeowners. Paper bunting and too many lights in close proximity can be a dangerous concoction, putting the household’s safety in jeopardy. Try to limit the amount of plugs per socket, don’t hang bunting too close to the hot lights, and when you turn them off, do so at the wall. Many homeowners will wheel out old Christmas lights so make sure they are fault-free and have no exposed wires before lighting up.

“Come rain or shine on the Jubilee bank holiday weekend, many homeowners will be bringing TV screens outside to watch the celebrations. However, the unpredictability of the British weather coupled with electrics is never ever a good mix. We obviously want people to join in the fun, but are also encouraging them to be mindful of electrical safety.”

Here are some top-tips which will keep your Jubilee spark-free:

· Keep paper bunting and lights at a safe distance from each other.

· Ensure any outdoor lights are not damaged or broken before use and that the bulbs are secure.

· Look out for loose wires and keep lights away from flammable materials.

· Limit each socket to one plug as overloading sockets can cause them to overheat.

· It is essential that a Residual Current Device (RCD) is used as this cuts off the electricity supply when a fault is detected and is potentially life-saving. If you don’t have one invest in a plug-in RCD.

· Make sure there are no loose leads trailing outdoors which could be a hazard for young children tripping and falling. Also ensure there are no rocks or stones around which could damage the leads.

· If the lights have been used for many years, make sure they still conform to current safety standards.

· Make sure that any lights used for outside the home are designed specifically for use in all kinds of weather.

· Ensure that plugs and transformers are plugged-in indoors where possible.

· If in doubt, seek advice from a qualified electrician. To find one in your area visit www.niceic.com or call 0870 013 0382.

NICEIC is the UK’s leading voluntary regulatory body for the electrical contracting industry and all registered electricians have to undergo a vigorous annual assessment. NICEIC assesses and maintains a register of over 25,000 electrical contracting companies to rigorous standards.

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