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#Fire Safety Tip 5: Never overload electrical sockets. Take special care with Christmas lights.

Whether it’s fairy lights or new electronic toys, most of us will be plugging in more than usual at this time of year.

Most of us use extension leads in our homes all the time, using four-way bar adaptors to increase the number of appliances that they can plug into a wall socket.

However, although there is space to plug in four appliances, this does not mean it is always safe to do so. Different electrical appliances use different amounts of power. To avoid the risk of overheating and possibly fire, you should never plug into an extension lead or socket appliances that together use more than 13 amps or 3000 watts of energy.

Use this calculator, provided by the Electrical Safety Council, to plug in some typical household appliances to see the effect on the load, and to get useful tips on how to avoid overloading your sockets.

The Socket Calculator has been brought to you by Electrical Safety First. For more safety information visit

About Paul Hooper, WCC (575 Articles)
Group Manager: Community Safety and Substance Misuse
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