One of the most common source of electrical fires is the inappropriate use of sockets and gang plugs.
Users simply place too much power through sockets and leads that are not designed to take this level of electricity ampage, which leads to overheating and in extreme cases can cause catastrophic electrical fires.
It is vitally important that you follow some simple rules to prevent problems.
- Check the current rating of the extension lead before plugging appliances into it. Most are rated at 13 A, but some are rated at only 10 A or less – the rating should be clearly marked on the back or underside of the extension lead. If not, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions
- Never overload an extension lead by plugging in appliances that together will exceed the maximum current rating stated for the extension lead. This could cause the plug in the wall socket to overheat and possibly cause a fire.
- Only use one socket extension lead per socket and never plug an extension lead into another extension lead
- Use a multi-way bar extension lead rather than a block adaptor, as this will put less strain on the wall socket. Some block adaptors do not have a fuse, which increases the risk of overloading and fire.
Electrical Safety First – a safety charity provide detailed advice on this and have a handy ‘socket calculator’ so that you can check whether you are at risk. You can view this here.
Electricity is dangerous if not treated with respect. Make sure you don’t fall victim.