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Cables, fuses and leads.

One of the most common causes of electrical fires is overloaded sockets. Learn about fuses and how to use extension leads safely here. 

First things first – know your fuses 

Always check that you’re using the right fuse for the plug. For example: 

  • 3A Fuse – table lamp, standard lamp, television, DVD player, computer, mixer, most blenders, fridges and freezers.
  • 13A Fuse – washing machine, dishwasher, microwave, kettle, toaster, iron.

Using extension leads safely

Some appliances use more power than others, so be mindful of not overloading your extension leads. Power-hungry appliances such as kettles, toasters and microwaves shouldn't be on the same extension. 

Always use a fused ‘inline’ type – not the plug-in cube type – but be really careful not to overload it. This is all too easy if you add extra adaptors/extensions, or appliances that use lots of power like kettles, tumble dryers or heaters.

It's also important to fully unwind drum extensions leads. If you leave them coiled, they can overheat and cause a fire.   

Replace old or worn items

Don't be tempted to try a DIY fix such as electrical tape – always replace faulty leads and extensions. Is it worth risking your loved ones and your home for the sake of a few pounds?

Are you overloading your electrical sockets?

We love this calculator from Electrical Safety First. Try plugging in some appliances and find out if you might be putting yourself at risk of fire.

Socket overload calculator

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