Protect Your Home from an Electrical Fire
Extension cables or leads and multiplug adaptors are a quick and easy ways to supply power to areas or electrical appliances in a home that do not have a power outlet close at hand, but you should be aware of the dangers when these are not used correctly.
Load shedding, power outages and insufficient power sockets in the home have resulted in the use of extension leads and multiplug adaptors. These are used in conjunction with a generator, inverter generator or UPS (uninterrupted power supply). When the power goes out, you use one of these to supply power to a home and, in many instances, use an extension lead and a multiplug adaptor to be able to plug in essential devices and appliances. But beware, there are many reported instances of house fires and electrical damage that can be caused by these if not used correctly.
Before you Buy
If you need an extension lead or a multiplug adaptor, you should only purchase those that are manufactured by a reputable organisation or have safety certification. There are too many inferior quality (cheap) products on the market, and these are the makes that you want to avoid at all costs. It is better to pay more for a quality brand than to put the safety of your family and home at risk.
Setting Up and Extension Cable
- What adaptor head?
When shopping for an extension lead, the first thing you will notice is that you can buy these in different lengths and with different adaptor heads. Some have a single-sided adaptor head that allows the use of a single plug while others have a double-sided adaptor head for two plugs. Decide on whether you need a single or double-headed adaptor.
- What length?
The next important consideration is the length of the extension lead. Do not buy a cable that is going to be far too long for the purpose required. An extension lead that is too long and coiled can overheat and melt and could cause an electrical fire in the home.
If you are unable to purchase a smaller length extension lead, it is possible to purchase adaptor heads at any Builders store and cut the extension lead to the correct length and then fit a new head.
- What purpose?
While an extension lead for outdoor use is okay for use indoors, an indoor extension lead should never be used outdoors. If you are purchasing a cable to be used outdoors, do ensure that it is high quality and certified for outdoor use.
The more plugs you use on an extension lead, the more heat generated. If too many devices or appliances are plugged in and used at the same time, you run the risk of an electrical fire.
When using an extension lead, it is important that you do not overload. If the extension lead is overloaded, the heat generated results in melted casing, plugs or the adaptor head.
Extension leads and multiplug adaptors should not compensate for the lack of power outlets in a home. Should this be the case and you need more power outlets for appliances, you need to look at upgrading the distribution board to allow for additional power switches rather than pulling too much power through an extension lead and running the risk of an electrical fire or worse.