Have you gone into socket overload!
Have you got socket overload? Are your TV, DVD player, Sky box and Playstation all running off one socket? Here’s something to think about… even if your 4 way extension lead can take 4 plugged in electrical devices, doesn’t mean to say it’s always safe to use all 4 at the same time. Are you guilty or not guilty? An electrician can do a socket calculator test for you and give you peace of mind.
Different electrical appliances use different amounts of power and to avoid the risk of overheating and possibly fire, you should never plug into an extension lead or socket appliances that together use more than 13 amps or 3000 watts of energy.
Here is how you can avoid overload:
• 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 • Never overload an extension lead by plugging in appliances that together will exceed the maximum current rating stated for the extension lead • Use an electrician to check if you’re exceeding the maximum load • 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 extensions and Leads • Consider having additional sockets installed if you regularly rely on extension leads and adaptors - and use a registered electrician to carry out the installation work • Check regularly for the following danger signs: - a smell of hot plastic or burning near an appliance or socket - sparks or smoke coming from a plug or appliance - blackness or scorch marks around a socket or plug, or on an appliance - damaged or frayed leads - coloured wire inside leads showing at the plug or anywhere else - melted plastic on appliance casings or leads - fuses that blow or circuit-breakers that operate for no obvious reason • The fuse in a plug is a safety device designed to protect the lead rather than the appliance. It is a deliberate weak link in a circuit which will 'blow' if an electrical appliance or extension lead draws too much current due to either an overload or a fault. The blown fuse cuts off the electricity to stop the lead and appliance from overheating and causing a fire • Appliances meeting the relevant product safety standards will always be fitted with a plug having a correctly-rated fuse. If you have to replace a fuse, it's essential, having checked and corrected the reason for the fuse blowing, to replace it only with another of the same rating. • As a rule of thumb, fuses are rated according to the power rating of the appliance. Plugs for appliances rated up to about 700 watts should have a 3 amp fuse (coloured red). Plugs for appliances rated between about 700 watts and 3000 watts (the maximum rating of a wall socket) should be fitted with a 13 amp fuse (coloured brown). (Some older appliances were fitted with 5 amp fuses (coloured black), which are still available to buy.) • Damaged cable, due to leads being walked over, continually bent at the same point or stored badly. • You can trip or fall over taut, over-stretched cable • Leads on power tools frequently become tangled, leading to one of the conductors eventually failing – this could cause danger • Overuse of multi-way adapters or adapter blocks, which increases the risk of fire • Only use an extension lead which was bought ready-assembled • We recommend that no extension lead be more than 15 metres long • Only use extension leads fitted with suitably insulated connectors and plugs. (Never join two lengths of flexible cable by twisting the bare ends of wires together.) • Position an extension lead carefully to prevent any risk of damage • If the cable has to cross a pathway, cover it with a rubber protector strip • Always check that leads, plugs and sockets are undamaged • Always check the extension lead plug contains the correctly rated fuse for the equipment being used • If using a cable drum extension lead, it should be completely unwound to avoid overheating • For general use, 2-core extension leads should not be used Get rid of and replace damaged extension leads – never repair them. Sticky tape isn’t enough! It’s not strong enough and won’t provide enough protection from electric shock.
Don’t go into socket overload!
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