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“Stay safe this Christmas”

 "Life's too short; don't make it anyshorter"

In This Issue:

1. Overloading of Extension Leads/Cables

2. Christmas Decorations and Christmas Lights

3. Portable Heaters

4. Candle Safety

1. Overloading of Extension Leads/Cables

Overloading extension leads and cables poses a serious safety risk that we all need to be aware of. When extension leads are overloaded, they can overheat and cause serious fires. Excessive load on extension leads can cause the wires inside to heat up beyond safe levels, increasing the risk of melting insulation within the plug that we possible won’t see until it’s too late.

Stay safe by following these tips:

• Avoid plugging multiple high-power devices into a single extension lead or adapter.

• Be aware of the load rating of your extension leads and never exceed it. Fully-wound extension reels have a very limited load rating (often just 3 amps).

• Regularly inspect extension leads for damage, such as frayed wires or exposed conductors.

• Unplug extension leads when not in use to reduce the risk of overheating.

or use the electrical socket calculator to see if yours is overloaded

“here’s two examples we found on our travels”

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1 – extension lead that’s been overloaded and melted and a plug in a wall socket has been overloaded and melted onto the socket.

2 – Six extension leads that were found “daisy chained” in one of the recent fire risk assessments.

2. Christmas Decorations and Christmas Lights At Work

While Christmas decorations and lights bring excitement and warmth to our workplaces, many decorations and lights are made of flammable materials and when combined with electricity they become potential sources of fire. Damaged or worn-out Christmas lights with frayed wires can short-circuit and ignite nearby materials. Additionally, leaving lights on for extended periods especially when unattended or overnight increases the risk of overheating.

Celebrate the holidays safely and sensibly by following these guidelines:

• Consider using lower temperature and energy-efficient LED lights.

• Use lights with a low voltage transformer.

• Use lights and decorations that are tested and certified as safe.

• Never leave Christmas lights on when you're not at home or while you're sleeping.

• Check lights for damaged wires, loose bulbs before use.

• Keep decorations and lights away from flammable materials.

3. Portable Heaters

Portable heaters can contribute much needed warmth to business and homes this winter. but they also present a significant fire risk if not used with caution. These devices generate heat and if not placed or maintained properly can lead to fires. One of the main control measures is to keep portable heaters at least three feet away from anything that can easily catch fire, such as curtains, furniture, or paper. If heaters are knocked over, they may not only cause burns but also start a fire. Regular maintenance is crucial as well; malfunctioning or damaged heaters can pose a significant risk. Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines and use heaters equipped with safety features like tip-over switches to reduce the risk of fire.

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During cold months, portable heaters can be a fire risk. Stay warm and safe:

• Keep heaters at least three feet away from flammable materials.

• Turn off heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep.

• Regularly check for any signs of damage or malfunction in the heater.

• Use heaters with safety features like tip-over switches.


“here’s two examples we found on our travels”

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1 – Curtains and clothing covering the vents on the wall fan heater.

2 – an office chair was covering the wall fan heater resulting in scorching marks on the back of the chair.

4. Candle Safety

Candles are purchased for their soothing ambiance but they come with risks that should not be ignored. The open flame of the candle can easily ignite flammable materials nearby. Leaving lit candles unattended is a significant risk, as it takes only a moment for a fire to start. It is important to keep candles away from combustible materials such as menus, curtains, paper or decorations. Placing the candle on a stable surface and not to be placed under shelving units. For a safer alternative consider using battery-operated candles that mimic the glow of traditional candles without the fire risk.

Candles can add a cozy touch but require caution:

• Never leave lit candles unattended.

• Keep candles away from flammable materials.

• Use candle holders that can catch wax drips and are stable.

• “Tea light” candles are a safer alternative to larger candles, as they have a short life and are inherently stable.

• Consider using battery-operated candles as a safer alternative.


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