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The big mistake many of us make at Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner and it’s hard not to be swept away with the magic of season. Those twinkling lights and stockings hanging over the mantelpiece, set the perfect Christmas scene.

But there is one mistake we see every Christmas, which could easily destroy the magic - overloading extension leads.

People regularly use extension leads in their homes, using 2 or even 4-way bar adaptors to increase the number of appliances that they can plug into a wall socket. This is particularly tempting during the festive season, as people plug in their Christmas lights, slow cookers, and heated blankets. However, overloading these sockets can be dangerous. In fact, it’s the leading cause of house fires in the UK.

What’s the danger?

The modern home contains so many appliances – all of which could be hazardous if not used correctly. When they’re plugged together into an extension lead, it can potentially cause fires. There are a reported 20,000 house fires in the UK, each year. These fires claim approximately 60 lives, and injure many more.

It is therefore essential we take precautions and use extension leads with care.

Top Tips if using extension leads this Christmas

If using an extension lead this Christmas, look out for the following danger signs:

· Be alert to hot plastic or a burning smell near a socket or device

· Look out for black marks around a socket, plug or appliance

· Always check leads – do not use if the lead is damaged or frayed

Remember to only use one socket extension lead per socket and never plug an extension lead into another extension lead.

Long term solutions

If you find that you’re regularly needing to use extension leads, then you may want to consider a long term solution that will decrease your risk of fire. Asking a qualified electrician to install additional sockets would prevent regular reliance on extension leads and adaptors.

Installing additional socket outlets to a room, is one of the more common jobs we’re asked to complete. With so much technology in our homes relying on power consumption, it’s really no surprise. The time this job takes is influenced greatly by the installation method used and the proximity to another socket outlet, but please contact us if you would like a quote.

Remember to take care of your electrics throughout the year, but if you’re planning to put extra strain on your sockets this month, stay vigilant to the warning signs. We hope you enjoy a safe and happy festive season.

This article was written by TT Electrical. TT Electrical have over twenty years of combined professional experience, providing electrical services across Worcestershire. If you’re interested in learning more, please visit our website at or feel free to contact us at

We look forward to hearing from you.

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