Preventing electrical fires

A couple of important preventative measures we can take to prevent electrical fires is to avoid overloading powerpoints and power boards and to check electrical leads and appliances for damage and faults.

A power point overload occurs when you exceed the maximum amperage of the electrical circuit you are using. This can be caused by plugging too many appliances into the one power point or running appliances that draw high amps at the same time. The result of an overload can be a short circuit and quite possibly a fire.

Many older homes have only one or two power points per room, so the temptation is to plug in a double adaptor or power board to increase the number of outlets. This is quite acceptable, providing they are used in moderation.

The problem occurs when we piggy-back one double adaptor on top of another or plug double adaptors into power boards and even power boards into power boards. This is guaranteed to exceed the circuit’s amperage and is a house fire waiting to happen.

The alternative is to only use appliances one or two at a time, to turn appliances off or unplug them when not in use, or ideally to have an electrician install another power point in the room.

Never use faulty electrical leads or appliances. Store your electric blanket safely – roll don’t fold. Before going to bed, turn off all electrical appliances at the powerpoint. Turn off electric blankets and heaters when you’re not at home and before getting into bed.

Stay safe this winter.

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