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Switches, leads and power points

Use these simple tips for using and maintaining electrical switches, leads and power points in good working order and making your home safe:

  • Put safety plugs into unused power point sockets to prevent accidental contact
  • Do not overload power points or power boards by “piggy backing” plugs into one socket or by using double adaptors as all power boards have maximum current ratings. Instead, arrange for another power point to be installed by a registered electrical contractor
  • If there is a build up of dirt, moisture, grease or oil on or around power points and switches, arrange for a registered electrical contractor to have them tested
  • Do not allow children to play with power points or switches
    Place power boards in ventilated areas and keep them free of dust and dirt
  • Do not plug high wattage appliances (such as heaters) into power boards as they could overheat the circuit wiring through overload and cause a fire
  • Do not spray household cleaners, detergents and insecticides on switches and power points
  • Do not wipe power points or switches with a wet cloth
  • Place extension cords carefully around furniture preferably securely taped to the floor, or along wall edges
  • Extension leads should have plugs with three metal cores (pins). Plugs with two cores are not earthed and therefore are dangerous and should be used only with double insulated electrical equipment
    Only use extension leads as a temporary measure
  • Extension leads that are damaged, frayed or have the inner wires exposed should be thrown away or repaired by a qualified repairman or licensed electrician
  • Do not place extension leads near heaters and cookers
  • Check electrical cords are not hanging from benches where children can grab them
  • Do not connect a piggyback plug to the end of an extension lead to make it longer as the pins will be live. This can be extremely dangerous
  • If using extension leads outdoors check them regularly for signs of damage or age
  • Do not attempt to repair electrical leads yourself, and never join them by twisting or taping
  • Do not make up a long extension lead from a series of shorter ones
  • Never place extension leads under carpet or rugs as they may overheat
  • Fully extend leads on reels when in use
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