Updated on 9th December, 2022 by Martin Astley
The below picture could be far more shocking than it looks!
The photo is not staged – Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service snapped the image with the homeowner’s permission while performing a free fire safety check.
It shows a significantly overloaded 13-amp wall socket, with three extension cords connected to each other and a total of 14 different electrical items plugged into the same socket.
Just because an extension cord has room for several appliances does not mean it is safe or sensible to plug in these appliances. Different electrical items have different power requirements, and plugging several power-intensive appliances into the same socket creates a real risk of electrical home emergencies.
Kettles, dishwashers, hairdryers, irons, and electric heaters are high-current appliances, meaning they use a lot of power at one time. Low-current appliances, such as television sets, computers, radios, and home entertainment systems, are better suited to extension cords, although it is still important for people to ensure they are not overloading electric sockets when plugging several low-current appliances into the same outlet.
Buckingham Fire and Rescue Service recommends that extension leads and sockets should never have more than 3,000 watts of energy or 13 amps plugged into them. Some extension cords cannot even safely handle 13 amps; these should have the maximum amps permitted printed on their covers.
According to Electrical Safety First, a total of 20,403 accidental house fires in Great Britain over 2011 to 2012 were caused by electricity, with this representing 54% of the 37,601 accidental house fires that occurred in the country over the year. These electrical fires led to a total of 2,469 injuries and took the lives of 46 people.
Furthermore, around 2.5 million people suffered a mains-voltage electrical shock over the year, with 350,000 of these receiving serious injuries and 28 losing their lives.
With home emergency coverage, you can keep your electrical equipment safe.
While a 247 Home Rescue service plan will not stop you from overloading your electrical sockets, our home emergency cover will help you keep your home’s power supply safe. If you experience any electrical breakdown or emergency, you simply have to give us a call, and we will send a specialist round to your home to make it safe again.