If you have an older Brisbane home, there is a very good chance that you don’t have sufficient power points for your needs and that you are using a number of extension leads and power boards. In actuality, even in some of the newer homes, there is still not enough power points as our increased usage of technology means we need more and more power points for printers, for computers (often one or more for each member of the family), for speakers, for computers connected to televisions and for charging of laptops, phones and iPads etc. Overloading and misuse of extension leads and power boards can cause a fire in your home or place of work. For this reason, this article provides you with advice on the safe use of extension leads and power boards.
Safe Use of Extension Leads
Purchase only quality extension leads as this is one area that you really don’t want to try and save some money. Check the packaging to see any information in relation to the safety of the cord or the limits to the cord. If you can’t find any information, seek help from a member of the store staff or Google search for the best brands of extension leads.
Extension leads should not be used permanently as they do get worn over time. It is much safer to ask an electrician to install more wall sockets for you than to rely on safety cords.
Do not use a three prong safety lead with a two prong power outlet.
Do not connect a power board to an extension lead. An extension lead should be used for one electrical appliance only.
It pretty much goes without saying that you should use special outdoor exension leads for outdoor use.
Make sure that extension leads are not tripping hazards, yet at the same time, you should not put extension cords under rugs or carpet as this can cause a build up of heat and the potential for an electrical fire.
Safe use of extension leads does not include attaching the electrical lead to walls or skirting boards with nails or staples as these can damage the cord and is extremely risky.
Save Use of Power Boards
Like extension leads, don’t buy cheap power boards. Always buy power boards that have inbuilt surge and overload protection, which can be found at most electrical goods retailers including Officeworks.
Never plug one power board into another to increase the number of sockets available, this is extremely dangerous.
Never plug a power board into the end of an extension cord. A power board must be plugged into the wall socket.
Do not plug in lots of heavy power use appliances into the power board at the same time.
To prevent the build up of dust in unused points of your power board, keep your power board on its side.
Do not try to hide your power boards under carpets or rugs, this is a sure way to cause overheating and an invitation for a house fire.
Don’t use power boards in wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. If you need extra electrical sockets in these areas, the cost of calling in an electrician to install more outlets for you is far less than the damage that could be caused to your home and your family.
Your power boards should be located in an area with lots of ventilation so using a power board in a cupboard is not a good idea.
Also make sure that if you are using a power board for a heater, the electrical lead of the heater is of sufficient length that the heater is not so close to the power board that it can heat it up.
Regular Tasks for Safety of Power Boards
The follow tasks need to be regularly undertaken:
Make sure (and this is very important) that you regularly dust and dry wipe clean all the power boards in your home. A build up of dust can be deadly.
You also need to regularly check that your power board is properly connected to the wall socket and that each plug in the power board is firm as well. Plugs can become dislodged over time.
You should also regularly inspect your power board, if there is any discolouration or enlargement of the points, immediately disconnect and replace with a new quality power board.
The power board leads should also be checked to make sure they are not damaged either.
Safe Use of Extension Leads and Power Boards
Did you know that a typical Queensland home, once ignited, can burn down within 10 minutes?
Did you know that fire alarms do not provide that much protection, as adults who have consumed just two glasses of wine with dinner will only wake up to a noise of at least 98 decibels – with is much higher than what a smoke alarm produces.
I am sure you do know, but just to make sure, water should never be used to try to put out an electrical fire, it will only make it worse.
Advice provided by a Brisbane Electrician.