Sometimes we simply just do not have enough sockets in the room or area we are working in. If this is the case, an extension lead can be a lifesaver and get you out of trouble!

Extension leads can also be a real benefit when we need extra sockets temporarily, for example, when putting Christmas decorations up.

However, you need to take care with extension leads, extension cords and extension reels. If overloaded or misused, they can cause a fire or an electric shock.

Extension leads are a contributing factor of many fires and injures in the UK, There has been many news stories where people have escaped fire through overloaded extension leads.

Below is a simple guide to correct use of extension leads

How many appliances can I plug into an extension lead?

Not all electrical equipment is created equal. Different equipment uses different amounts of power. For example, a kettle uses 20 times more power than a fridge does.

Most extension leads can handle a maximum of 13 amps. Smaller ones may only be able to handle 10 amps.

Follow the link below to our socket over load calculator to work out your maximum load

Is it safe to plug an extension lead into another extension lead?

The answer is simply NO you should never run two extension leads off one another.

If you connect two or more extension leads in series (sometimes known as ‘daisy-chaining), the resistance of the extension leads increases. This can lead to overheating and fires.

You must only use one extension lead per plug socket and never plug an extension lead into another extension lead.

Are there any regulations surrounding the use of extension leads?

At Present there are no real regulations around the use of extension leads.

Make sure your extension lead has a fuse

Many mainstream extension leads have a fuse, which means that if your extension lead overloads, it will shut down protecting the lead and the circuit its plugged into.

Therefore block/socket or multi adaptor plugs are not great to use, as many of them don’t have fuses.

Don’t cover extension leads with a carpet or blanket

Covering an extension lead can not only increase the risk of overheating and damage the cable but can be a potential trip hazard.

If you do need to cover an extension lead, use a rubber protection strip, this acts as an insulator and stops the lead from getting damaged.

Make sure the cable is unwound, uncoiled and detangled

A tangled or knotted cable is more likely to overheat. When using an extension reel, make sure that it is fully unwound and uncoiled to prevent overheating.

Keep your extension lead safe when not in use

When your extension lead is not in use, unplug it and store it in a safe place. Never wrap the cord around the lead as this can damage it.

Use an outdoor lead in the garden or outside the home

Don’t put your extension lead anywhere it could possibly get wet, water and electricity do not mix!

If you’re using your extension lead outside or in an outbuilding, use one that has been specifically designed for outdoor use or use a waterproof enclosure for them.

Buy your extension lead from a reliable supplier

cheap extension leads may seem like a bargain, but they only meet the minimum standards for sale. Always check your extension lead before you use it.

Keep an eye out for anything unusual, like the smell of burning plastic or smoke. 

If you see, hear or smell anything, or the extension lead feels hot to the touch, unplug the extension lead and the equipment straight away.

Remember that extension leads are only intended for temporary use

If you regularly use extension leads, it may be worth getting in touch to have extra sockets installed to eliminate the use of extension leads

give us a call today 01992 276087.