ESB Networks is reminding all electricity customers to never take risks with electricity during the Christmas period. Know the risks from electricity and keep yourself and others safe.

Never use ESB poles or wires to hang outdoor Christmas lights; electricity wires are always live and extremely dangerous.

Around your home, farm and workplace, check that your electrical equipment is in good condition. When putting up outdoor Christmas lights and decorations, check that there are no overhead wires nearby. Always keep a safe distance because electricity is very powerful and can jump gaps.

Check that the residual current device (RCD, sometimes called a ‘trip switch’) works by pushing the test button. This is located at your electrical distribution board.

Make sure outdoor lights and portable/temporary electrical equipment is properly rated for outdoor use and plug them into a portable residual current device (RCD, sometimes called a trip switch) for extra safety.

Please remember that at this time of year storms and strong winds can cause damage to electricity wires and poles, so always be alert and keep a safe distance. Remember fallen electricity wires are live and therefore dangerous to approach. Report any damage immediately by contacting the ESB Networks’ emergency number: phone 1800 372 999 (24/7 line).

There may be a tendency when putting up Christmas lights or decorations powered by electricity to add extension leads, double adapters etc. Never over load this equipment and ensure safety aspects are in place to cut down on risks.

Electrical safety tips:

A. Only use electrical equipment that is fit for purpose and in good condition; this includes Christmas lights, wiring, light fittings and sockets.

B. Check for damaged or frayed wires, loose connections, damaged or cracked plugs, any signs of discoloration. With damaged equipment, disconnect from the electricity supply immediately – it is always safer to disconnect remotely at your electrical distribution board. Replace faulty equipment when safe to do so.

C. Electrical equipment generates heat, always switch off when not in use and keep any combustible materials clear.

1 Always unwind extension leads completely to avoid overheating and don’t overload sockets with adaptors or extension blocks.

2 Check that the RCD (trip switch) works by pushing the test button. This is located at your electrical distribution board.

3 Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they are working.

4 Always get advice from a registered electrical contractor when carrying out electrical repairs. Information

Frayed wires such as this where the external coating is badly damaged should be replaced immediately with equipment or electricity sources not used until repairs have been made.

Safety tips for outdoors:

Always watch out for electricity wires and cables. Ask yourself the question: “Are you sure it’s safe?

  • Electricity wires are always live; never approach.
  • Wires can become low or fall to the ground when damaged by timber or wind, so always know where wires and poles are on your land, and anticipate dangers, especially when dark.
  • If you see fallen or low wires, keep clear and phone ESB Networks immediately on 1800 372 999
  • Never use ESB poles or wires to attach things to.
  • Do not work near overhead wires and contact ESB Networks.
  • More electricity safety information is available at Updates are also posted on our Twitter account @ESB Networks. ESB Networks would like to wish all our customers a safe and happy Christmas.