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.
Power Board Safety Tips: Do’s & Don’ts
- 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.
- In the case of an electrical fire, never use water to extinguish the flames.
- Plug one power board into another to extend the number of sockets, as this can be very hazardous/ risky.
- Attempt to repair a powerboard yourself- Discard or have a licensed electrician.
Prudently Use Power Boards for Electrical Safety
Why Should You Avoid Overloading Your Power Board?
Avoid using the piggyback method as it could overload the power board, thus, it’s not recommended. Buy power boards with overload protection, as it will automatically halt any power that passes to the power board if at all there is a potential for overheating. Use only power boards having inbuilt safety switches/circuit breakers.
Avoid plugging appliances that are regarded as high wattage into the power board. Never use extension cords permanently. Get assistance from a licensed electrical contractor like Service Today to explore the possibilities to expand the number of power points.
Is It Necessary to Maintain Power Boards That Are In Use?
Yes, it’s vital to properly maintain your power board, as it could avert injuries, appliance damage and fires. So, you should keep the power board onto its side. So, dirt and dust are not gathered in any of its unused points.
Check all plugs are securely fixed into the power board. Inspect the power board for any damaged or frayed wires. Ensure the power board is kept in a place that doesn’t have any contact with water, dirt or other types of debris. It’s vital to ensure that there is sufficient air ventilation around the power boards because it will shield them from overheating.
Why Should You Inspect The Power Boards At Regular Intervals?
You should inspect your power board regularly to check there is any discolouration or enlargement of the points, immediately unplug and replace with a brand new power board of good quality. Besides, the power board leads should be regularly inspected to ensure they are in good condition and aren’t damaged.
Why Should You Purchase Quality Power Boards and Extension Leads?
Buy only quality power boards and extension leads, as this isn’t the area wherein you can save money. Certainly, you would not want to compromise your family’s safety, would you?
Incorrect usage and/or badly maintained power boards can result in home and office fires threatening lives and inflicting significant damage to the property. Thus, it’s better to take adequate care of your power boards and use it correctly to keep your family and employees safe.
Moreover, 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.