Tips for maintaining extension leads in the workplace

Extension leads are often used and abused in the workplace. They are durable and are able to deliver power when those regular sockets are hard to reach. That’s why it’s important to keep your extension leads well-maintained to ensure longevity and maximum safety.

Do not overload

Extension leads and cable reels from suppliers such as RS are available in different gauges, meaning that the maximum voltage they can support varies.

Overloading an extension lead could cause electrical damage and increase the risk of a fire hazard. Try not to exceed the maximum capacity of the extension lead, as this could result in overheating and cause overall product damage.

Store appropriately

Whilst your extension leads are not in use, be sure to unplug and store them in a cool, dry place. By leaving them lying around, whether that be in the office or at a construction site, it increases the risk of them being damaged and could also cause potential accidents if someone were to trip over them.

Choose the right length

Ensure you choose the correct extension lead length for your desired application. Long cables running through the workplace when you don’t need them are unnecessary, and again, could cause an accident. 

Also, you shouldn’t plug multiple extension leads into one another. This is dangerous and could result in equipment failure, electrocution and could pose as a potential fire hazard.

Avoid use in high-traffic areas

Slips, trips and falls are one of the most common workplace accidents. Having numerous extension leads running across the floor can cause such accidents, so try to avoid this where possible and keep a clutter-free environment. 

However, this doesn’t mean you should run them underneath rugs or carpets. This is because you will prevent your cables from releasing any extra heat whilst in use, and could lead to equipment damage.

Use cord organisers 

If your cables are tangled, they may suffer damage from various bends and kinks, potentially causing the wires within to break. 

Cord organisers and cable supports are a great way to prevent this. You can use clips and ties to keep your cables clear and out the way of those colleagues who are walking around. 

You can also opt for wireways, cable nail-ins and adhesive-mount cable wraps to keep your extension leads well organised. That way, you’re looking after them whilst creating a safer working environment.

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