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From fairy lights to mulled wine kettles, your kitchen will no doubt be filled with plugged in appliances this Christmas. So it’s more important than ever to know your electrical safety basics to avoid accidents and fires. Here are the four main things to remember:

Check your equipment
Overloaded sockets, damaged cabling or lose connections can lead to electric shocks and fires. Make sure you’re using the right plug for the right appliance, and that everything is checked regularly.

Check an appliance before you use it to make sure there’s no damage to the wiring, the plug or the product itself. Periodic Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is highly recommended – the frequency that such testing is needed will depend on the appliance.

Be careful with extension leads
Check that any extension leads are only being used for equipment with a low current – so avoid heaters, kettles and cooking equipment. Make sure you never overload an extension lead – remember: one socket – one plug – one appliance.

Avoid using very long extension reels or trailing them anywhere they could be a tripping hazard. Keep them away from water, any equipment that becomes hot, and ensure that ventilation holes are not obstructed.

Make sure you only use devices for what they are intended for, and read the manufacturer’s instructions and guidance.

Install RCDs
Every electrical installation will have safety devices built in, such as fuses and circuit breakers, which will switch the power off if a fault occurs. This will kick in if there is a short-circuit or the electricity supply is overloaded.

Residual Current Devices (RCDs) are circuit breakers which detect particular types of fault that are common in kitchens and other high-risk environments. Installing RCDs means that, in the event of a fault, the chances of a person receiving a significant shock are reduced.

Keep switches out of reach
Where possible, keep switches away from the general public. This includes fuse boxes, distribution boards, light switches and power sockets. This will help avoid accidents and injuries, people touching equipment they don’t understand, and appliances being switched off.

Make sure that your socket covers are in place to prevent anything being inserted, which could cause damage or injury.

At Steelplan Kitchens, we’re happy to offer informal safety advice during the kitchen design process. To find out more, call us on 0844 809 9186.

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