Many homes have only one or sometimes two (if you’re lucky!) power points per room. In today’s day and age this simply won’t cut it- with a computer, a TV, a mobile phone, an iPad, a fan or heater, lighting and more, most of us will find ourselves quickly reaching for a power board to satisfy our ever growing electrical needs.
“Poor maintenance and incorrect usage of power boards can result in home and office fires endangering lives and causing considerable damage to property. Statistics show that over 350 residential house fires are started by electrical faults in NSW each year.”
– Fire NSW
Provided that you’ve invested in high-quality boards and you use them correctly, you can ensure yours, your family’s and your home’s safety, prevent power outages, and even electrical fires. Read ahead to brush up on your power board safety knowledge.
- Invest in power boards with overload protection– A little extra spend now can save you a LOT later.
- When possible use boards with built-in safety switches– An important extra precaution.
- Always place power boards in well-ventilated areas- The less heat can build up, the better.
- Ensure boards are placed in sight at all times- As opposed to beneath or behind furniture
- Clean regularly to avoid dust and dirt build up- Clean on the surface around all sides and edges.
- Ensure all plugs (including the wall plug) are fixed correctly at all times- Boards that are stored in areas like beneath desks are susceptible to being kicked or slipping out of their sockets.
- Regularly inspect the condition of your boards and their cords- Damage on the outside can be an indicator of damage on the inside.
- Plug in too many power hungry appliances into the same board.
- Plug in an appliance if you aren’t sure about the amount of power it draws- Toasters and hair dryers can ring alarm bells here.
- Place board in an area where water or moisture can build up- Steer clear of using boards in the kitchen and bathroom.
- Place under carpet or rugs- While this might help to disguise unsightly cords, it can disguise danger too.
- Place inside cupboards- Minimises ventilation greatly.
- Place near heaters- Additional heat can contribute to overheating.
- “Piggy-back” multiple plugs onto one wall socket- Plugging one powerboard into one of the sockets of another is a no go too!
- Connect a power board onto the end of an extension cord- Always plug power boards directly into the wall.
- Attempt to repair a powerboard yourself- Discard or have a licensed electrician.
- In the case of an electrical fire, never use water to extinguish the flames.
When altering your home’s electrical set up (even temporarily, with power boards and extension cords!) consider discussing your options with an electrician. A licensed electrician Sydney or from nearby locations will always be knowledgeable enough to tell you whether something is 100% safe and whether it is appropriate as a short term or long term solution. Not only that, but a licensed electrician will also be able to discuss with you the installation of additional power points as another, often safer, more cost effective and long term solution to increasing the electrical points in your home.