5 Great Christmas Gifts for Electricians

As the festive season approaches we all start to think about the best gifts to buy for friends and family. If you have a sparky in your circle here are some ideas on Christmas gifts for electricians that will be appreciated.

A good torch is always handy

Electricians, even with a full set of all the tools they need, will always appreciate more.  Torches are a great idea and they don’t come much better than the Streamlight 88033 ProTac 2AA 250 Lumen Professional Tactical Flashlight.  Batteries are included so you don’t have the embarrassment of them opening a gift and not being able to use it immediately.  It’s available from Amazon and a variety of online stores.

Cool electrician T shirts

There is a huge selection of T shirts you can purchase online printed with appropriate messages for the cool sparky.  We particularly like “Electrician Fixes The Stuff You Can’t” which is bound to raise a smile. Or for the more modest sparky you could choose “THIS IS WHAT AN AWESOME ELECTRICIAN LOOKS LIKE

Christmas gifts for electricians that save lives

In the course of their work electricians have to break or drill through plaster and plasterboards on occasion.  When working in an old house (built before 1999 in the UK) the chances are that such plaster and wall or insulation boards will contain asbestos.  Being exposes to asbestos fibres can lead to asbestos related diseases and ultimately death.  Asbestos cancer (mesothelioma) takes a long time to become evident, up to 40 years in some cases.

If an electrician goes out to a job and thinks asbestos may be present, the easiest thing to do is test the suspect material.  An asbestos testing kit could save his or her life.  The kit, available from Asbestos Sampling, comes with simple instructions, coveralls, a specialist mask and all the other things needed to take samples safely.   It might not be the first thing you think about in terms of a gift but it’s certainly one of the most valuable.

Making a fun statement

The “Trust me I’m an Electrician” cushions available from Etsy are fun and will integrate well with any colour of couch or bedding.  Single electricians will love them for their pads when they invite prospective partners round!

For the electrician with a new business

Electricians are highly skilled technicians.  They tend to be absorbed in their work which is a good thing considering the dangers of the job.  A copy of “How to win friends and influence people” will help them not only in business but also when interacting with customers. It’s a fairly old book that was first published in 1936 but has stood the test of time.

You can purchase all the above gifts online from the comfort of your own home but some may have restrictions on delivery times.  Order early if they appeal to you.

 

Christmas Construction Gifts for Builders and DIYers

If you’ve got a builder or DIYer in your life it can be difficult to find gifts for them.  Christmas construction gifts need to be chosen carefully.

Unless you know a little about construction, it may be that your gift to a builder may end up being given to someone else. It may sit in the garage or shed gathering dust if they can’t use it. So here are some great ideas for construction gifts.

For the ardent DIY enthusiast

Some DIYers are naturally talented, others not so much.  If you feel your DIYer could use a little help, home renovation videos will provide a lot of assistance.  Even for an experienced DIYer these instructive videos present amazing ideas that he or she may not have thought about.  Amazon has a great range of informative DVDs for home re-modellers easy instruction on how to get the job done properly.

Christmas construction gifts that save lives

Working on buildings that were built before 1999 in the UK is hazardous.  Most contain asbestos in one form or another.  It can be found in and around fireplaces, on lagging around boilers and pipes and even within the textured coatings on ceilings.  Insulation and wall boards are highly likely to be made from asbestos containing materials.  When you consider that a drawing pin can release 600 fibres into the air, imagine the danger of driving a nail through a wall board!

Asbestos related diseases may not surface until decades after exposure by which time it is almost certainly a death knoll.

Before tackling any job in an older property it is imperative to test for this deadly mineral. Asbestos testing kits are inexpensive and save lives.  Contain everything required to safely take samples, the result can come back within 24 hours.  Help protect your builder or DIYer this year by giving them an inexpensive asbestos testing kit.  The kit comes with complete step by step  instructions as to how to use it.

For the builder with a sweet tooth

As a stocking filler a chocolate tool box kit from Treasure Island Sweets is an excellent gift for a builder with a sweet tooth. It’s also great for children who aspire to follow in their parent’s footsteps!  Make sure they don’t overdo it though; eating a whole spanner might make them sick!

Construction gifts that last

Tool belts made from anything but leather tend to fall apart with constant use.  Leather tool belts from Rutlands are a good buy.  Made from the finest quality leather they’ll possibly last a lifetime. Wearing the belt saves the avid DIY enthusiast or builder going up a ladder and finding they haven’t got the right tool!

Brick and trowel cufflinks

A builder who takes pride in is appearance when surveying a job is likely to take pride in the work too.  Brick and trowel cufflinks are novelties but certainly a “dress to impress” feature.  Available on Ebay at less than £25, they are bound to delight any builder.

Knowing the builder makes buying Christmas construction gifts easier.  For example, if they work for a construction company it’s highly likely their tools are supplied.  In this case you should go for a more personalised gift.  However, if they are self-employed spare tools are always welcome.

It may be that you just want to thank your builder for doing an excellent job. Any of the above gifts will be appreciated because no matter how much they cost, it shows you have put some thought into it.

Could there be Asbestos Containing Materials in or Around your Fireplace?

Asbestos containing materials were common components used in the construction of UK homes during the early and mid-20th century.  Indeed, asbestos was so pervasive that virtually no public or private structure built during that time was completely free of asbestos. Many of these components are still in place today. That last fact comes as a bit of a shock to most people who thought the asbestos issue had been successfully addressed and put to bed. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that if your home or office is more than 17 years old asbestos containing products may have been used in its construction and may still be present.

Asbestos – forgotten but not gone

The word asbestos has so many appalling connotations that everyone was more than content to just stop talking about it once the UK’s total ban on asbestos went into effect in 1999. But that ban was not the end of the asbestos story – not by a long shot. Because today it’s estimated that up to 50% of UK homes may have asbestos lurking somewhere within. One part of the home that should be checked carefully for the presence of asbestos is the fireplace. If you want to keep that lovely feature fireplace in your home,  get an asbestos testing kit before you restore it. And here’s why:

Gas Fires

Gas fires today employ various types of ceramic to achieve their realistic log effects. However, it wasn’t that long ago that many of those fake logs were actually fabricated from asbestos containing materials. If those old asbestos logs are chipped they could release asbestos dust particles into the air. This is something you absolutely want to avoid. If you suspect that your old gas fire logs contain asbestos, replace them immediately.

Stove Gaskets

Asbestos stove gaskets, sometimes called stove rope, were commonly used in wood burning stoves to seal them against air leaks. These gaskets were so common that even today contractors often refer to modern stove gaskets that contain no asbestos as “asbestos rope.” If your wood burning stove is more than 20 years old there’s a decent chance that its gaskets contain asbestos.

Insulation

Asbestos insulation was often used in and around the fireplaces of older homes. This was due to the excellent fire suppression properties of asbestos. If asbestos containing insulation was used in your fireplace it may still be intact and therefore present no immediate danger. But if it is old and starting to break down you’ll want to have it removed as soon as possible. It’s advisable, and in some cases legally compulsory, to hire a qualified asbestos removal expert for this job.

Suspect asbestos containing materials?

If you suspect there may be materials in and around your fireplace that contain asbestos buy an asbestos sampling kit and follow the instructions carefully.  If asbestos is detected, contact an asbestos removal professional regarding the best way forward for your particular situation. Remember:

  • Not every home contains asbestos.
  • Not all asbestos needs to be removed.
  • Some asbestos containing materials can only be removed by a licensed professional.

Asbestos isn’t necessarily a health hazard. But it might be. Start down the road to peace of mind by testing your home for asbestos today.