It seems as if everything we use on a daily basis runs on electricity. Laptops, tablets, smartphones, TVs, and other electronic devices all need to either be plugged in constantly to run or plugged in to build up a charge so it can go wireless. Unfortunately, many homes and offices don’t have enough standard outlets to accommodate all the required wires and cords, which is where power boards come in.
Power boards can turn a single electrical outlet, which can only hold one or two plugs, into one that can accommodate multiple plugs. While this sounds ideal – after all, you can plug in all those devices and not have to go searching for an outlet – it can be extremely dangerous if you overload the power board.
Overloaded power boards can do everything from damage the devices that are plugged in to cause injury by shocking people or even starting a fire. Understanding the do’s and don’ts of electrical safety when it comes to power boards can help protect you, your family, co-workers, and even your electronic devices.
We have gathered some helpful electrical safety tips that will prove invaluable should you wish to use a power board, double adaptor, or extension lead in your home or office.
Don’t Use the Piggyback Method
The piggyback method is when you essentially overload a power board by plugging one plug in and then connecting it to another to create a longer cord. Piggy backing is also a term that is used when you use a double adaptor to turn a single outlet into a double outlet.
Using the piggyback method is not recommended because it could overload the power board. Every power board has a maximum current rating. That rating is determined based off the design and structure of the power board. It does not factor in the use of additional adaptors or extending it with another plug.
Overloading a power board beyond the maximum current rating could cause a fire hazard. It is best to just use the power board as it was intended and not add additional cords or double adaptors.
Do Purchase Power Boards with Overload Protection
Some power boards have a feature that is called overload protection. This feature will automatically stop any electricity that leads to the power board should there be a potential for overheating. For the safety of your home, office, and co-workers, make sure you purchase a board that has the overload protection feature.
Don’t Plug Appliances that are classified as High Wattage into the Power Board
Appliances, such as heaters, gas or electric stoves, kettles, and TVs, are often classified as high wattage. The high wattage classification means these electronic appliances require more power to run properly. Unfortunately, many power boards are not designed to handle high wattage appliances.
If you need to plug an appliance in that is high wattage, don’t use a power board. Instead, opt to plug these appliances directly into an outlet that is considered the main power point.
Do Properly Maintain Any Power Boards that are in Use
Proper maintenance of your power board could prevent injuries, appliance damage, and fires. Some tips for properly maintaining a power board include:
- Always place the power board on its side, as this will keep dust from accumulating in any unused points
- Check all plugs are still firmly set into the power board
- Look for any damage to the power board such as cracked or frayed wires
- Make sure the powerboard is not in any place where it could come into contact with water, dirt, or other types of debris
- Make sure there is proper air ventilation around the power boards, as this will prevent them from overheating
Don’t Use Extension Cords on a Permanent Basis
Extension cords are designed to provide you with temporary access to a power point. They are not intended for permanent use.
Do Consider Speaking with an Electrician to Look for Ways to Expand the Number of Power Points
If you notice you are running out of outlets that are considered main power points, you may want to speak with a local electrician about expanding the number of power points in your home or office. This may be a costly project, but it will help dramatically reduce your risk of a potential fire that is caused by overloaded power boards.
Need an electrician? Chat to Brisbane Electrical today on 07 3378 3387
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