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Vero Voice Blog

Using a power board? Here’s how to keep yourself safe

By Stephen Henkin
Manager, Customer Risk Solutions

7 January 2020

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Power boards, multi-socket boards, multi-plugs/boxes are some of the names used for the convenient little electrical boxes that allow us to power multiple appliances and devices from one hard wired electricity plug outlet. 

Many homes and business premises don’t always have enough plug outlets for the number of appliances/devices commonly used today. Computers and home entertainment systems often require multiple electronic inputs, and many of us rely on multi- socket boards to meet the power requirement of these devices. If used correctly, multi socket boards are safe, but if overloaded, worn or damaged, they can cause a fire or electric shock.

Ideally there should be enough plug points for everything that needs to be powered. Consider checking in with your electrician about ways to increase the number of hard-wired plug outlets at your home or business if you’re relying on multi-socket boards to manage your devices and appliances.

If you are using a power board, these guidelines can help you avoid any accidents: 

  • Use a power board with an overload protection device. This will shut off the power to the board if the electrical current flowing through the board exceeds the boards rating.
  • Don’t overload the power board – these are meant for low current appliances only. Stoves, washing machines, space heaters, toasters and kettles draw heavy currents and should be plugged directly into a wall socket, not through a power board.
  • Power boards are generally rated to 10 Amps. This rating will be clearly labelled. Don’t plug in individual appliances or a combination of appliances that exceed the 10 Amp rating.
  • Never piggy back one power board off another or plug in double adaptors to the power board. Only plug in one appliance per socket outlet on the board staying with the rating of the board. 
  • Ensure the area around the power board is well ventilated and is clear of things that can burn e.g. don’t allow bedding, curtains or discarded clothing to cover the board.
  • Locate the power board where it won’t be damaged. Check regularly for wear and tear e.g. cracked body or a worn or frayed cable. If the power board is damaged, stop using it. 
  • Plugs should sit securely in the socket outlet. Loose plugs can be a sign of poor connection which could result in sparking or overheating.
  • If you touch the power board and feel a tingling sensation, or there is an unusual smell switch the power off at the wall immediately and unplug the board. 

If you'd like to know more about insurance for your home and contents, you can find a broker here.

The information in this article has been compiled from various sources and is intended to be factual information only. It is not personal advice and any description of an insurance product or service is not a complete description of all the terms and conditions applicable to the particular insurance product or service. You should consult a qualified adviser for advice on whether the information in this article is suitable for your personal situation and needs. While we take reasonable steps to ensure that the information contained in this article is accurate and up-to-date, it is subject to change without notice. Vero Insurance New Zealand and its related companies does/do not accept any responsibility or liability in connection with your use of or reliance on this article.

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