Overloading Sockets

Everyone uses extension leads in their home to increase the number of appliances that they can plug into a wall socket. However, although there is space to plug in four appliances, this does not mean it is always safe to do so.

You can avoid overloading sockets and risk of fire by following this simple advice:

  • Check the current rating of the extension lead before plugging appliances into it. Most are rated at 13 A, but some are rated at only 10 A or less - the rating should be clearly marked on the back or underside of the extension lead.
  • Never overload an extension lead by plugging in appliances that together will exceed the maximum current rating stated for the extension lead. This could cause the plug in the wall socket to overheat and possibly cause a fire.
  • Use our overload calculator (below) to check if you’re exceeding the maximum load
  • Only use one socket extension lead per socket and never plug an extension lead into another extension lead
  • Use a multi-way bar extension lead rather than a block adaptor
  • Consider having additional sockets installed if you regularly rely on extension leads - and use a registered electrician to carry out the installation work
  • Check regularly for signs of danger

 Use the online calculator to check that you are not overloading the sockets in your home:

The Socket Calculator has been brought to you by Electrical Safety First.

For more safety information visit http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk