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Sockets, Extensions and Electrical Circuits

There are over 20,000* fires a year as a result of electricity-related incidents. 9/10 of these electrical fires are caused by electrical products.

Extension Cables

When using an extension cable it is advisable to avoid cramming it full of electrical devices. We live in a day in age where household appliances share their sockets with (for example) charger cables for the everyday digital device.

Overloading your plug sockets adds to the risk of causing an electrical fire…

The obvious signs for this (before the smoke), is the harsh smell of electrical wiring and plastic melting and black scorch marks around sockets.

In general, most electrical devices, such as white goods for the home, will state in their product manual whether or not you can connect to an extension cable as there may be a risk of overheating which can lead to fire.

Another prevention to consider is ensuring you’re charging mobile phones & laptops with a cable intend for that specific device. Using un-compatible cables can cause electrical surges of energy to and from the devices which cause overheating and melting of cables and in rare cases, the electrical device can explode. So we advise you don’t take the risk in the first place.

Avoid tangling lots of wires in an extension cable. We see this too often. Juggling plugs around an extension cable is not advisable. Just because you can, doesn’t necessary mean you should.

Covering live plug sockets with piles of washing or tea towels is another common and dangerous mistake.

Technical Talk

On average, the standard home size in and around Suffolk are three-bed, semi-detached homes, which comprise of around three to four double electrical socket outlets per a room in a new build.

A property this size will usually consist of two 32amp ring final circuits which carry the electricity around your home (one on each floor).

An amp circuit starts from your customer consumer unit (more commonly known as the fuse board) which connects to a first socket and then round to the next socket and so on until it’s connection is looped back round to the fuse board, creating the circuit.

It is overloading the circuit’s amp allowance which can lead to dangerous outcomes, such as electrical fires.

If you are unsure and want to check what your limit is, specifically for your home there are a variety of online calculators you may input your information into but the most accurate way is to organise a consultation with your electrician.