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Top tips for Christmas tree safety this December

December is here: the nights are drawing in, Christmas music is on the radio and the big day is just around the corner. We've seen Christmas trees popping up all over York (ours included!) and it's sparked an often-overlooked thought: how to keep our houses and businesses safe whilst adorned with flashing lights and electric cables.


John Wright Electrical and Mechanical Services Ltd install data cabling, electrical and mechanical small works, and provide an array of M&E engineering services across the UK. For us, electrical safety is first and foremost, so we're here to share some top tips for keeping you, your family or employees safe this festive season.


Christmas trees originated in the 5th Century; Germanic tribes would adorn oak tree branches with torches and dance around to celebrate winter solstice. Around 740, the oak tree was replaced with an evergreen pine to represent eternal life and decorated with apples to remind onlookers of temptation of Adam and Eve. Today's Christmas tree was first seen in Germany, in 1605, to bring light and warmth to the Christmas period. The tradition spread across Europe and the first Christmas Tree to reach the UK was found in Windsor Castle in 1841.


40 years later in 1882, Edward H. Johnson (friend and business partner of Thomas Edison) invented the first strand of Christmas tree lights; hand wiring 40 bulbs in red, white and blue! Whilst it marked a revolutionary moment in Christmas tree decoration, it wasn't without its risks. The old filaments tended to overheat and even set fire to the tree, resulting in many house fires.


Today, we adorn our tree with LEDs, a much safer and economical way to pay homage to tradition. They operate at extra-low voltage, which significantly reduces the risk of electrical shock and fire. They're also made of plastic, giving them extra durability compared to their glass counter parts. Electrical Safety First has some great tips for keeping your home safe this Christmas, so we've listed a select few below:

  • Inspect your lights carefully and do not use if the wires are broken, damaged or loose.
  • Ensure plugs and transformers are plugged indoors, even if the lighting is suitable for outdoor use
  • Switch your lights off and unplug them before you go to bed or leave the house
  • Keep lights away from flammable decorations and materials that can burn easily
  • Never overload sockets – try to avoid extension leads or adaptors

Whether your house is covered with lights or just a little tree, from everyone at John Wright, we hope you have a safe and Merry Christmas!

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