The twelve fails of Christmas

The twelve fails of Christmas

There are a lot of things you need to remember in the month of December.

  • Have you put the Christmas tree up?
  • Have you bought the sprouts for Christmas dinner?
  • Have you tested your electrical equipment to make sure it is safe?

We all want to relax and enjoy ourselves during Christmas and New Year, so it’s important to make sure all the extra lights, decorations, and appliances we use are all working as they should be.

With this in mind, here is our Christmas gift to you this December… some PAT testing fail photos from our elves (did we say elves? We meant engineers!)

We hope you enjoy and remember, if you need someone to check out your electrical appliances during December (or any time of the year), we’re here to help.

Forget ‘we three kings’, this photo is all about ‘we two pins!’

The top pin of a plug socket is known as the ‘earth pin’. Depending on the appliance, it is either metal or plastic. Either way, if it is loose or missing, you should look at getting the plug replaced by a professional electrician.

Wobbly trifles and jellies at Christmas are great – wobbly plug pins not so much!

A hot cup of tea or coffee is a great way to start your Christmas day, but it’s important to make sure your kettle is working before you brew up!

This kettle was quarantined during PAT testing because it failed the earth continuity test. This test makes sure there is a good connection between any earthed metal parts and the kettle plug. If there isn’t a good connection, it can cause an electric shock.

Like a well-wrapped Christmas present, we sometimes can’t see inside our appliances. This means they may have issues that we aren’t aware of.

PAT testing can be a good way to check that all our electrical equipment works both inside and out.

This little crack in an extension lead looks harmless, but even the smallest dents, scrapes and knocks can potentially pose problems.

Damage exposes the electrical components inside, increasing the risk of electric shock as well as overheating.

We all tend to use extension leads more at Christmas, so we can plug in our Christmas tree lights and other decorations. Take care to check your extension leads aren’t damaged before you use them, and replace them if they are getting old and worn.

How to use extension leads safely.

Tape is essential at Christmas for wrapping up presents and putting tinsel on the walls – not so much in this scenario!

If an electrical plug has been damaged to the point you can see the electrical components inside, it’s time to replace the plug with a new one.

A competent electrician will be able to do this for you. Alternatively, if the appliance is old, it may be easier to replace the whole piece of equipment.

One of the most common faults our engineers spot are damaged plugs.

Plugs are prone to a lot of wear and tear. They’re often stepped on (ouch!) or accidentally kicked under tables, as well as repeatedly plugged into (and pulled out of) sockets.

If electrical safety is on top of your Christmas wishlist, check your plugs for damage before plugging them in.

When we ask our customers to have a smashing time at Christmas, we don’t mean it literally!

Extension leads can get brittle over the years, especially if they have been left out in the sun. It’s always good to check them on a regular basis for signs of damage.

If you see any cracks, dents or scorch marks, it’s time to ask Father Christmas for a new one!

When the snow is falling and the temperature goes below zero, it’s nice to crank up the heating. While it’s great for us to get warm and toasty, the same can’t be said for our plugs!

This plug has overheated, causing the plastic to melt. Many times this is caused by a loose or worn wire inside the plug, or an overrated fuse.

Be sure to check your plugs before you use your appliance. If you see burn marks or the plug feels hot to the touch, it’s time to get it replaced.

We all love Christmas crackers in December – both the type you pull and the type you enjoy with cheese!

However, any electrical equipment with cracks should be left well alone.

This plug was spotted in an office and was still being used by staff.

This appliance is definitely on our naughty list!

The plug pin was so loose on this piece of electric equipment that it ended up getting stuck in the socket.

Not only that, but the socket itself was in a dangerous state of disrepair as well and had started to overheat and crack. Cracks can be especially hazardous in a plug socket as they let dust drift in, increasing the risk of fire.

Don’t forget, if you need to check your sockets, we offer EICR inspection services too!

This type of damage is often caused by vacuum cleaners. The vacuum cleaner runs over the cable, causing it to get scuffed.

Although this damage looks more superficial than the rest of the PAT testing fails on this list, it is still dangerous. When the plastic sheath around the electrical wires erodes, it increases the risk of them coming into contact with people or metal work surfaces.

This is probably a sign that you shouldn’t do any vacuuming during Christmas time – put your feet up with a selection box instead!

Why damaged electrical cables need to be replaced

This is an interesting fail photo, as on first impressions, nothing looks wrong with this fridge plug. However, the earth wire and neutral wire are in the wrong positions.

This means there was no earth on the fridge and the casing was live, meaning that anyone touching it could have experienced a very dangerous electric shock.

We all love opening Christmas presents on December the 25th, but an open electrical cable is not as nice!

An open electrical cable exposes the wires inside, increasing the risk of an electric shock if you come into contact with it.

Be sure to check your cables before you plug your appliances in. Keeping your cables away from heat, water and ice will make sure everything keeps running as it should over the festive season.

Make PAT testing top of your festive wishlist this Christmas

Want to make sure your electrical equipment is ready for the big day? Hawkesworth is here to help.

We can test all of your electrical appliances, Christmas lights, and decorations, making sure your equipment will keep you feeling festive all December long.

We’re the UKs Number 1  trusted voice of experience in the industry, who are regularly consulted to give our expert opinions with industry governing bodies.

Through our national network of fully certified engineers, Hawkesworth provide a range of technical compliance and testing services to ensure you’re not at risk – we’ve got you covered!

From your Electrical Installation and Portable Appliances with EICRPAT and Thermographic surveys to Fire Safety with Fire Risk Assessments, Fire Alarm Testing and Emergency Lighting.

Get in touch and see how we can help you