- BY Elicia McManus
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Halloween is a growing holiday in the UK, with more and more people wanting to join in spooky celebrations each year. This year we are set to see some of the biggest Halloween festivities in years. The fun usually now spills over to the workplace, with many employers happy to let their staff decorate their work space or even build Halloween displays.
As suppliers of electrical services, safety is our number one priority and something we think about a lot! Special attention must be paid to safety during holiday periods and special occasions such as Halloween, when additional hazards are often introduced into the workplace or home.
What are the electrical and fire safety hazards associated with Halloween and what can you do to lessen the risks?
Candles and Lights
What is Halloween without a pumpkin or two?
Traditionally, candles are placed inside pumpkins to give them an eerie glow. This is enough of a hazard in the home, let alone the workplace. What if the last person out of the office or building forgot to extinguish the candles, or someone knocks one over?
Though with proper due care and attention, there is no reason why you can’t use candles in an office, but you should always follow basic candle safety and use common sense. Ensure that you fully assess the hazard and what the risks is.
Even with proper care and assessment, most employers would still be nervous at the thought of having an open flame around the place, so why not consider some safer alternatives? An almost totally safe alternative to having open flames would be to replace candles with artificial LED lights. You can purchase small battery powered tealights relatively cheaply.
Electrical Safety and PAT Testing
Another popular office decoration at Halloween time is novelty fairy and LED lights. These look great and inject a bit of holiday fun into the workplace, but they are still a hazard that must be treated with caution.
Always ensure that lights are switched off at the end of each day – never leave fairy lights unattended. Why not ask a volunteer to act as ‘responsible person’? Someone who will be able to check that the lights have been switched off when they leave – just remember to have a backup person too!
To ensure your office is as safe as possible from electrical hazards, remember not to overload sockets or extension cables. These are a leading cause of fires that start with an electrical fault.
Its also never a bad idea to ensure that all electrical devices (this includes lights!) are correctly tested, in good working order, or PAT tested. You can read more about PAT testing on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.
As a provider of industrial and domestic electrical services, IDES UK can test all your electrical equipment – this includes Halloween items! Regular testing is essential for electrical safety, to comply with regulations, and to give you peace of mind.
Fire Alarms and Emergency Exits
Your office should already have professionally installed fire alarms. Should the worst happen with any candles or lights, then your employees will be alerted and able to get to safety.
Emergency exits should be clear and staff familiar with fire procedures. If you’re really going to town with your Halloween decorations or displays, ensure that no emergency exits are blocked. The last thing you need is somebody tripping over a pumpkin on their way out!
As professional installers of fire alarms systems, we are all too familiar with the cause of fires and the benefits of having a good system in place. If your business doesn’t have anything in place yet or your current system needs an overhaul – then please get in touch. IDES UK can provide a full fire alarm design, installation and testing service. This includes maintenance, additions and alterations to existing installations, and upgrading or replacing fire alarm panels.
Get In Touch
We’re specialists in industrial electrical services, who are just a call away to help you with the fire and electrical safety of your building. Have a happy and safe Halloween!
Whatever your electrical needs or issues, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us 08432 894645.