It’s that time of year again!
Around the end of December, stuffed with mince pies and leftover turkey, most of us decide to reflect on ourselves and the year ahead. Full of resolve, we vow to go to the gym three times a week, limit takeaways to once a month and become a serene, green juice-drinking yoga guru.
Yeah, right! These good intentions often go out the window by February, leaving us feeling deflated and unmotivated. So we’ve come up with a handful of super-easy new habits that anyone can implement, which will keep you feeling smug all year round.
Forget diets and fitness routines - these simple New Year’s resolutions could potentially end up saving your life!
I will check my smoke alarms once a month
Think about all the things you find time to do each month - paying your bills on time, a trip to the hairdressers, a date night with your partner. These things are essential, of course, but could they literally save your life?
What if we told you about a quick, easy task to add to your monthly routine that could double your chances of escaping from a house fire - and it only takes a minute to do? You’d be crazy to turn it down! We’re talking about checking your smoke alarms - all you need to do is press the button once a month and listen out for the beep. It’s that easy!
I will stop buying cheap phone chargers
After shelling out a couple of hundred pounds for a phone, it’s tempting to cut corners when it comes to replacing a worn-out charger. After all, how dangerous can a charger really be?
Pretty dangerous, actually. We tested a range of fake iPhone chargers and found that 98% of them had the potential to cause a lethal electric shock or start a fire. It’s a scary thought, especially when you think about how often we continue to use our phones while they’re charging. And if you leave yours to charge overnight, you have even more reason to be concerned.
A fake charger could also completely destroy your phone - definitely not ideal. Buying a cheap phone charger may save you a few pounds to start with, but it could end up costing you a lot more in the long run!
I will stop overloading my sockets
It’s tempting to plug in as many appliances as possible when you’re strapped for socket space, and adaptors make it easy to do. But just because you have the ability to plug in extra appliances, doesn’t always mean it’s safe to do so!
A simple tip to remember is to only use one extension lead per socket, and never plug an extension lead into another extension lead - that’s just asking for trouble. Consider having additional sockets installed if you regularly rely on extension leads and adaptors, and remember to use a registered electrician to carry out the installation work.
If you’re concerned about overloading your sockets, this handy calculator will show you where you’re going wrong!
I will register all of my electrical appliances
How many electrical items do you have in your home? We’re willing to bet it’s a lot - think about your washing machine, television, dishwasher, kid’s gadgets… If just one of those items has been recalled due to a dangerous fault, you could have a ticking time bomb lurking in your house.
Registering your products makes it possible for the manufacturer to easily get in touch with you if it turns out that the item you’ve bought is somehow faulty or dangerous. Electrical products – especially chargers, adaptors, haircare appliances, kettles, irons and toasters – are recalled more regularly than you might think, but typically only 10-20% of these recalled products are actually returned and/or repaired.
It’s much easier to do than you think – our advice on registering electrical items will take you through every step!
I will check on my older relatives, friends and neighbours more often
Electrical accidents in the home can pose a more significant risk to older or vulnerable people. This is often due to old or poor quality housing that contains faulty electrics and appliances.
Our statistics show that one million people over 75 live in homes that are not warm enough, are in a state of disrepair or do not have modern facilities. These homes can be dangerous as they don’t meet basic electrical safety standards, and don’t include life-saving devices such as a modern fusebox, circuit breakers and PVC wiring.
Sometimes a health condition such as dementia or Parkinson’s can increase the risk of an electrical accident, as these conditions cause reduced mobility and memory. If you’re worried about your property, or concerned about a neighbour or relative, click here for some simple things you can do to help.
Happy New Year, everyone - here’s to a safe, great 2018!
More posts by Jenna Haldane