Don't overload your plug extensions graphic
CDS Electrical - Blog

Christmas done safely: don't get overloaded this festive season

December 10, 2018

Christmas done safely, or CDS for short. This is our second post in the lead-up to Christmas over electrical safety at Christmas time.

Not having enough vacant plug sockets around the home is an issue that many of us now face. The surge of electrical products over recent years has ballooned our demand for additional sockets. An increase in electrical goods without the installation of wall sockets leaves us with only one option; the use of extension leads.

Most people have extension leads in their homes, using 4-way or 6-way bar adaptors to increase the number of appliances that they can plug into a single wall socket. However, just because the extension lead has space for four or six items, it doesn't always mean it is safe to do so.

At Christmas time, the need for plug sockets only worsens with the introduction of multiple sets of lights, dancing Santas and bobbing snowmen.

Prevent overloaded sockets by following our 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. If not, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • 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.
  • 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, as this will put less strain on the wall socket. Some block adaptors do not have a fuse, which increases the risk of overloading and fire.
  • Consider having additional sockets installed if you regularly rely on extension leads and adaptors. Be sure to use a registered electrician (such as ourselves) to carry out the installation work to your property. Please call us on 01323 734162 to arrange for a free quotation to your property.​​
  • Use the overload calculator (below) to check if you’re exceeding the maximum load. Please not this is just advisory and you should still check the Amps of your appliances before plugging them all in. Overload calculator is kindly provided by
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