Faulty electrics, appliances, wiring and overloaded sockets all cause around 7,000 house fires across the country every year.
Many people have extension leads in their homes, often using 4-way bar adaptors to increase the number of appliances that you can plug into a wall socket.
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service remind you that although there is space on an adaptor to plug in four appliances, this does not mean it is always safe to do so. Different electrical appliances use different amounts of power.
Kevin Connon a Crew Manager from Torquay Fire Station said: “I recently carried out a Home Safety Visit at an elderly lady’s home and I was shocked at the amount of overloading of plugs I found in one house. To avoid the risk of overheating and possibly fire, our advice is too never plug into an extension lead or socket appliances that together use more than 13 amps or 3000 watts of energy.
“I highlighting the potential dangers to the lady and quickly replaced all the plugs with safe alternatives. The next day I arranged to meet her son at the property as I had discovered the fuse board was very old with loose wires and a fire risk in need of replacing asap! An electrician was called and the fuse board was replaced the following day.”
The Electrical Safety Council has created an easy to use calculator where you can plug in some typical household appliances to see the effect on the load. The calculator is intended to help you understand how you can avoid overloading your sockets and reduce the risk of fire. To use the calculator please visit our electrical safety page.
Top tips for plugs and sockets
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