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Electrical Appliances Safety

How to Use My Power Board Safely In Australia 2022 

Usage of Power Board Safely

Like any electrical appliance, power boards can be dangerous if used incorrectly, so it’s important to use any power boards in your home or office safely. Here are some of the top tips to help you use your power board safely.

Electric power boards are remarkably useful pieces of equipment, found in almost every home and office. They allow us the flexibility to run additional electrical appliances off the one power point and in these days of electricity hungry devices, that’s something many people are looking for.

Always plug your power board directly into the wall

Power boards are made to operate directly from a socket in the wall. Don’t ever plug a power socket into an extension cord or piggy-back a power board onto another power board.  Doing either of these things can overload your circuits and present a fire risk.

Choose your power board carefully

As with all electrical appliances, buy the best quality power board that you can afford. It’s worth investing in a power board with a safety switch (or RCD) which provides surge protection. That’s an important consideration if you’re going to be plugging multiple expensive entertainment or computer-based devices into the power board.

Use common sense when you use your power board

Don’t use your power board behind cupboards or under rugs where it is out of sight. When choosing a position for your power board, position it so that it’s visible but out of the way of general traffic. If your power board is under a desk for example, it can easily get kicked and disturbed which can damage both your appliances and the power board.

Don’t overload your power board

Never use double adapters with a power board and try not to run it at maximum capacity (with all plugs utilised) all the time. Overloading your power board increases the risk of an electrical accident but it can also damage your appliances and the power board.

Don’t try to fix your power board yourself

If you notice that your power board is damaged, get it repaired or replace it with a new one. Don’t be the home handyman that thinks that duct tape is sufficient to repair a damaged cord, or who thinks that it’s possible to fix a bent plug. It’s not worth the risk.

Don’t use power boards near water

Most people are aware that water and electricity don’t mix. Try to minimise the number of appliances you use in an area where there is water such as a laundry, kitchen or bathroom and certainly don’t leave a power board sitting plugged in on a bathroom vanity where the sockets could easily be exposed to water.

Get your power boards regularly tested

Many people don’t realise that electric power boards are classified as electrical appliances and so they should be tested and tagged when you get your other appliances tested and tagged. It’s easy to forget about power boards and extension cords when your test and tag technician visits your business, but make sure that you pull out any power boards hidden away in cupboards. They’re almost the most important ones to get tested because they can easily gather dust in the sockets if the power board hasn’t been stored correctly. As a general rule, store your power boards on their side so that it’s more difficult for dust and debris to collect in places where it might cause a problem.

Choose a reputable test and tag provider

Testing and tagging power boards isn’t as straight forward as you might think. Because each socket on a power board needs to be tested individually. And if your power board has a surge protector (or safety switch), these need to be tested as well. That’s a very good reason to make sure that the supplier you engage to conduct your testing and tagging really knows what they’re doing.

How to choose a test and tag supplier

There are many companies that conduct testing and tagging and PAT testing – so how can you tell which company really knows their stuff? Firstly, look for a brand you know that has a solid reputation in the market. Jim’s Test & Tag has over 150 franchises across Australia and is a part of the Jim’s group – a name you know you can rely on.

When it comes to test and tag specifically, know which questions to ask. Your test and tag technician needs to be familiar with the joint Australia/New Zealand safety standard AS NZS 3760.2010 which governs the testing and tagging of electrical equipment. The standard specifies that a person conducting testing and tagging must be qualified and have practical experience in testing and tagging. The team at Jim’s Test & Tag all have ongoing training and have completed a certificate of attainment in Test and Tag.

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