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Taking care of your home in cold weather

Winter is already upon us, and now the clocks have gone back the nights are really drawing in. It won’t be long before we are scraping snow from our paths and ice from our windscreens.

Now is the time to get your home ready for winter, and the cold weather that comes with it.

Make sure your home electrical system is up to scratch. Over 30 deaths a year and thousands more accidents are a direct result of unsafe electrics. Don’t wait until you have a problem until you get your home checked for safety.

It’s essential that your home is safe and secure, especially when you are spending much of your time there and are using many more appliances than you would do in the warmer summer months, and you will inevitably see a sharp rise in the amount of electricity you use.

Bad wiring can be fatal, so it’s really important to be vigilant and make sure that your home electrics adhere to current safety guidelines.

First, check your plugs and sockets. Are the flexes that run into your plugs and sockets in good order? If there are any damaged leads or loose wires, get these fixed or replaced straight away and do not use the appliances until you have done so. If you don’t, you could be risking fire, burns or electrical shocks.

To keep your plugs and sockets safe, make sure you gently remove them from the wall – never pull them especially if there is any resistance. Make sure you pull the plugs using the plug and not the flex to avoid any damage or overheating of the plug, which could lead to a fire or electric shock. If you have children, tell them never to pull the plugs out but to ask and adult, and if you have pets make sure that they cannot get near any sockets with lots of leads coming out of them. If you think you might have mice, make sure you regularly check your wires as they are well known for chewing through them.

If you do have gadgets and appliances that you use every day such as TVs, Cable TV boxes or wireless routers, try and turn these off before you go to bed. Obviously you can’t do this with all appliances as things like fridge freezers need to be plugged in and constantly on. However, if you have an appliance that can be kept on standby it’s better for it to be turned off completely as you are still paying for electricity in order to power the appliance.

Don’t overload your sockets and have too many appliances plugged into an extension lead and adapter plugs. Instead, get a qualified electrician to install additional sockets.

Electricity is an integral part of our lives, but it can cause deaths and injury so its safety is not to be taken for granted.


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