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Winter is the time for snuggling up in indoors with the heating on full and your home decorated with sparkling fairy lights in the lead up to Christmas.  This is the time of the year that the use of electricity increases with overloaded plug sockets (as one is more are likely to be plugging in electric heaters and blankets) which in turns increases the risk associated with electricity.

Regular checks of your home electricity are important to staying safe from electrical hazards during the winter months. But do you know what to look out for? Generally, there have a lack of knowledge about is.

Here are some basic electrical visual checks that can help in getting ready for winter from the team at Aberdeen City Electrical. Carrying out these checks can reduce the risk of electrical fault.

  • Check the conditioning of your cables and ensure that any leads or cables are not damaged or frayed. Have them replaced or repaired if you see any damage.
  • Check that your lights are working correctly and there are no signs of visible damage.
  • Check that sockets are not overloaded or that too many extension leads are in use. Have additional power outlets or sockets installed by a qualified electrician.
  • Check that there are no cracks or unscrewed covers in your electrical sockets. A certified electrician can check this over for you and where necessary, install new ones.
  • Check that the main fuse box (consumer unit) has RCD protection fitted. An RCD (Residual Current Device) will trip should it detect residual leakage to earth.
  • Check for any water leaks that could affect your electrical wiring, panels, sockets and switches. Water and electricity don’t mix well.

Also, be aware of the following:

  • Make a habit of switching off the electric to all your home gadgets, before you go to bed. Not only will it save you money on your electric bill, but it can prevent the risk of fires in the event of lightning, power surges and fluctuations.
  • Are there any switches that are discoloured as this can signify a dangerous heat build-up.
  • Does any of your switches or lights make a buzzing or crackling sound, as unusual noises may indicate an unsafe wiring condition.

Finally, if you are going away for the festive period, don’t leave any non-essential electronic equipment plugged in. Only leave the most vital electrical equipment like a refrigerator plugged in.

If you see something that doesn’t seem to be working properly or may need further investigation, then contact your local electrician. A registered electrician will be able to rectify any faults or carry out an Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR) which will identify any potential issues that could lead to further problems.