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How to use Extension Leads safely

December 22nd, 2021

An extension lead should only be used when it is not possible to reach a wall socket with the equipment cable. When the use of an extension cable is unavoidable, use this blog as a guide regarding how to use extension leads safely.

  1. Overuse of multi-way adapter blocks, increase risk of a fire
  2. You can trip or fall over an extension lead
  3. Plugging an extension lead into an already existing one will increase the risk of a fire
  4. Always check that the extension lead plug contains the correctly rated fuse for equipment been used.
  5. If you are using a cable drum extension lead, it should be completely unwound to avoid any overheating.  

How to avoid overloading extension lead sockets 

It's important to note that although there may be space in your home for appliances to be plugged into an extension lead, this does not always mean that its safe to do so. 

  1. Check the current rating of the extension lead before plugging appliances into it. Most are rated 13A, but some are rated only 10A or less. The rating should be marked on the back or underside of the extension lead. If not, refer to the manufacturers instructions. 
  2. Never overload an extension lead by plugging in appliances that together will exceed the maximum current rating stated on the extension lead. This can cause the plug in the wall socket to overheat, potentially leading to a fire. 

A useful piece of advice is to use a Socket Overload Calculator, this way you can make sure you're not exceeding the maximum load. 

The difference between amps and watts 

Having a clear understanding of watts and amps will allow you to save a significant amount of money on your energy bills and will help you safely use an extension lead. 

Amps: refers to the measure of how much electrical energy is been supplied through a particular electrical line 

Watts: refers to the overall working capacity of the electrical energy. 

Amps are the unit of current flow, while watts is the unit of power. Amps, when multiplied by voltage, equates to watts. Its much easier to measure amps in comparison to wattage. Amps apply only to electricity while watts can be used for other forms of energy. 

Watts can be considered as a comprehensive measurement in which power is calculated. Whereas amps is the quality of the flowing current. 

Where can I buy an extension lead? 

Here at Superlec Direct, we offer a selection of our own brand extension leads ranging from 2 to 6 gang and are available in either standard or cassette reels. Cassette reeled extension leads allow for easy and quick coiling when finished, the compact design allows for easy storage. 

We also offer surge protection extension leads that are designed to protect against any unwanted spikes in voltages by blocking or shortening them when above a safe threshold. 

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