Safety reminder after fire: Please don't overload sockets

Wed 22 Jul, 2015

Firefighters are urging people to check that they are not overloading plug sockets and adaptors after a fire in High Wycombe this afternoon.

Crews from High Wycombe and Beaconsfield were called to an address in Forest Way shortly before 2pm after a fan heater caught fire in a ground-floor room.

It was one of about 10 items, pictured, including an electric heater, a hairdryer, a lamp, Christmas lights and chargers, plugged into adaptors leading to a single wall socket.

The fire was out on arrival, and firefighters ventilated the house.

Crew Commander Adam Burch from High Wycombe Fire Station said: “Many of us have extension leads in our homes, using adaptors to increase the number of appliances we can plug into a socket,

"We are urging people not to overload their sockets because of the risk of a fire breaking out."

Adam offered the following advice:

  • Although there is space to plug in several appliances, this does not mean it is always safe to do so. Different electrical appliances use different amounts of power.
  • High-current appliances include kettles, hairdryers, irons, dishwashers and heaters. Low-current appliances include televisions, computers, hi-fis and radios.
  • To avoid the risk of overheating and possibly fire, an extension lead or socket should never have appliances that together use more than 13 amps or 3,000 watts of energy plugged into it.
  • Click here for an easy-to-use online overload calculator, devised by the charity Electrical Safety First, which shows you how to avoid overloading your sockets.