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Electrical Extension Leads Safety Guide: Tips from Pickmore

A picture of an extension lead being used safely

Electrical Extension Leads Safety Guide: Tips from Pickmore

At Pickmore, we understand the importance of electrical safety, especially when it comes to extension leads. As a trusted electrical wholesaler & retailer in the UK, we have accumulated extensive experience in the field, allowing us to provide an authoritative guide how to ensure the safety of electrical extension leads. Therefore, we created this Electrical Extension Leads Safety Guide. In this guide, we’ll address concerns about extension lead safety and provide actionable tips to help you mitigate risks and protect yourself and your property.

Understanding the Risks:

Electrical extension leads, while convenient for powering multiple devices from a single outlet, can pose significant safety risks if not used properly. Some common risks associated with extension leads include:

  • Overloading: Plugging too many devices into an extension lead can exceed its maximum load capacity, leading to overheating, fire, or electrical shock.
  • Cable Damage: Frayed or damaged cables can expose live wires, increasing the risk of electric shock or fire.
  • Trip Hazards: Poorly placed or untidy extension leads can create trip hazards, especially in high-traffic areas.

Best Practices for Extension Lead Safety:

Choose Quality Leads

Invest in high-quality extension leads that comply with British Standards, such as BS 1363. Look for leads with built-in surge protection and overload safeguards to minimise risks. Surge protection adapter plugs can also be used as added protection to extension leads that do not have surge protection built-in.

Check Load Capacity

Before plugging in devices, check the maximum load capacity of the extension lead and ensure that you do not exceed it. Overloading can lead to overheating and fire – see our guide on How To Avoid Overloading Extension Leads and Sockets.

Inspect Regularly

Routinely inspect your extension leads for signs of damage, including frayed cables, exposed wires, or loose connections. Replace any damaged leads immediately to prevent accidents.

Avoid Daisy-Chaining

Do not daisy-chain multiple extension leads together, as this can increase the risk of overloading and cable damage. Instead, use a single extension lead with sufficient sockets for your needs.

Route Cables Safely

Keep extension leads away from heat sources, water, and sharp objects to prevent damage. Avoid running extension leads under carpets or rugs, as this can cause overheating and create trip hazards.

Unplug When Not in Use

When devices are not in use, unplug them from extension leads to prevent phantom power consumption and reduce the risk of overheating or fire.

Educate Others

Share extension lead safety tips with family members, colleagues, and others who may use electrical equipment. Encourage them to follow best practices to minimise risks.

Trusted Resources:

For additional guidance on extension lead safety, we recommend consulting reputable UK-based resources such as:

Electrical Safety Council (ESC): The Electrical Safety Council is a UK-based organisation dedicated to promoting electrical safety in homes, workplaces, and communities. They provide a range of resources and guidance on extension lead safety, including tips for usage and maintenance.

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET): The IET is a professional engineering institution in the UK that offers valuable insights and resources on electrical safety. They publish guidance documents and technical reports related to extension lead safety and other electrical topics.

By following these tips and leveraging trusted resources, you can ensure the safety of your electrical extension leads and reduce the risk of accidents. At Pickmore, we’re committed to promoting electrical safety and providing our customers with the knowledge and tools they need to stay safe.

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