In the office you may not stop to think how the power supply is getting from one place to another. When two electrical appliances are quite far apart and the only option is to plug one extension lead into another, why not? Well we catch up with Senior Test Engineer and Thermographer, Ashley Boyce, to find out about the real risks of daisy chaining.
Ashley Boyce has worked in Operations and Thermography at Intersafe for over 14 years. He is out and about across the UK everyday at different client sites carrying out Portable Appliance Testing. When it comes to extension leads he says that normally the current cannot exceed 13 amps and the problem comes when too many high current appliances are plugged into an extension cable. This problem is made much worse and more dangerous when extension leads are plugged into each other, otherwise known as 'daisy chaining.' Ashley reminds us that the fuse is designed to protect the cable, not the user and it is essential that the cable has an earth. If the cable isn't earthed then the risk is lethal if the appliance develops an insulation fault. ;
We also caught up with Ashley about multiway adaptors, he said 'in theory adaptors should be okay but sometimes when three appliances are plugged into a multiway adaptor, they can weigh down the socket and electricity could end up arcing which is extremely dangerous.'
The IET code of practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment says the following when it comes to Multiway adaptors and RCD adaptors:
Sufficient socket-outlets should be provided so that multiway adaptors are not necessary. Due to the increasing amount of computer and electronic equipment, this is not often achievable in offices, and some multiway adaptors may be necessary. The person inspecting the installation should decide what is reasonable in terms of safety, and report to the responsible person if excessive numbers of adaptors are in use. Such adaptors should not be 'daisy-chained.' New buildings should have sufficient socket-outlets so that multiway adaptors are not necessary. Adaptors fitted with an RCD should be checked and tested as in Section 15.10.2. Certain adaptors, often cube adaptors, are unfused, meaning that it is possible to overload the adaptor. This would result in a fire risk.
If you'd like to learn more about Portable Appliance Testing or any other electrical testing requirements including Periodic Testing and Inspection, contact Intersafe by calling 02380 610101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org