Electrical safety - Use of extension cables

A recent incident has highlighted a problem with the use of multi-gang electrical extension cables for high wattage appliances such as heaters and kettles.

The extension cable was found to have overheated thus fusing the plug and socket together and discolouring part of the casing.

The advice from the University's Health, Safety & Environment Service and the Department of Estates is that the use of extension cables should be avoided if at all possible.

If they are considered absolutely necessary then they should not be used with high wattage electrical appliances such as kettles, fridges and heaters. Such appliances should be plugged directly into the mains wall socket so that there is only one plug to one socket.

Extension cables are considered to be electrical appliances and are, therefore, subject to PAT testing. They should not be used if they fail the test and should be discarded if found to be defective.

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