Ensure your next celebration goes off with a bang, not an electric shock

Party lights

There is always a reason for celebration, whether it is a house warming party, a graduation celebration or a family get-together, there are growing numbers of people choosing to celebrate at home. Preparing your home with essential party regalia is all part of the fun and choosing some ornate lighting can really add to the finishing touches.


Choose your lighting carefully

During my time as an electrician in East Nottingham, I have made some startling discoveries of dangerous party lights – in some cases the lights are being misused by the house holder and in other cases the lights are just plain dangerous and have been purchased from an unknown source. A recent customer of mine in Arnold had purchased some electric firecrackers to celebrate an engagement party from an online company based outside of the UK. Whilst I was at her home installing additional sockets, she showed me the lighting to ask my opinion.


What I saw was startling and I asked her not to use them. The lighting which resembled a chain of lights was extremely unsafe. The cord was not anchored in the main control box which meant that anyone pulling on the wire accidentally could have received an electric shock as it was not properly secured. There was also easy access to the live parts within the control box – once the paper cover was removed, it was easy to put a finger end into the holes. The firecracker units were not secured properly and the end caps could be removed easily exposing live parts. The cable itself also lacked inadequate insulation meaning it was possible to get an electric shock just by touching the cable. It was very disturbing that had I not been there, these lights may have been used and could have caused an electric shock – or worse.


Avoiding an electric shock at your next party

As a NICEIC electrician in Nottingham I recommend that lighting is only purchased from reputable retailers and is closely inspected for damage before use. In particular check the cord is not showing any bare wires and the plug is secure on the end.


Always place lighting away from seating areas and sources of heat to avoid any accidental fires or dragging on the lights.


It is also important to only use lights outside which are designed for outdoor use. My team of electricians in East Nottingham have seen on countless occasions lighting used outside which is not designed for outside use. Worryingly, this type of lighting is often in left in place ready for the next party and of course is exposed to varying weather conditions.


Plugging in safely

Avoid overusing extension leads and trailing cables when planning your party lighting. The overloading of extension leads and cable trailing under rugs or carpets can overheat causing fire. Fires typically start at parties as people are less aware of what is happening thanks to the fuelled mix of alcohol and distractions.


I recommend the installation of additional sockets as an electrician in Nottingham if you are using several extension leads in your home. An over reliance at any time on extension leads puts you at greater risk of house fire or overheating. Overheating in turn can cause expensive damage to the electric wiring in your home so it is actually cost effective as well as peace of mind to opt for additional sockets.


What you should do if you suspect your lighting is unsafe

If the lighting is already in use, stop using it immediately and return it in the first instance to the retailer or manufacturer. If this is not possible, then contact your local trading standards office for advice.


If you are worried that the lighting may have caused damage to your socket or wiring inside your wall, then contact your local qualified and registered electrician who can investigate further.


Never use lighting which you suspect is unsafe, it is better to switch off and not use than risk a guest receiving an electric shock.