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8:59 AM

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8:59 AM, Tuesday 11 May, 2021

Fire caused by washing machine plugged into extension lead

Pebody Place, Olney

One appliance and crew from Broughton attended. The plug had overheated and caught fire. Firefighters moved the washing machine outside and gave advice.

The more wall sockets you have in your home, the less you will need an extension cable or adapter. However, many portable electrical items such as lamps and radios are supplied with relatively short cables. Sometimes it is unavoidable not to have to use one, but beware of the following dangers:

- Damaged cable, due to leads being walked over, continually bent at the same point or stored badly.
- You can trip or fall over taut, over-stretched cable.
- Leads on power tools frequently become tangled, leading to one of the conductors eventually failing – this could cause danger.
- Overuse of multi-way adapters or adapter blocks, which increases the risk of fire.

An extension lead should only be used when it is not possible to reach a wall socket with the equipment cable. When the use of an extension cable is unavoidable, follow these simple suggestions:

- Only use an extension lead which was bought ready-assembled.
- We recommend that no extension lead be more than 15 metres long.
- Only use extension leads fitted with suitably insulated connectors and plugs.
- Never join two lengths of flexible cable by twisting the bare ends of wires together.
- Position an extension lead carefully to prevent any risk of damage.
- If the cable has to cross a pathway, cover it with a rubber protector strip.
- Always check that leads, plugs and sockets are undamaged.
- Always check that the extension lead plug contains the correctly rated fuse for the equipment being used.
- If using a cable drum extension lead, it should be completely unwound to avoid overheating.
- For general use, two-core extension leads should not be used.