One of the most common problems we come across nowadays is people finding themselves running out of power sockets to plug all their appliances in. In fact, if you look behind the TV unit in most lounge rooms you will most likely come across a tangle of wires and powerpoint extensions and adapters. It seems to have become common practice to grab a double adapter to give yourself an extra socket, whether it be to charge an extra mobile phone or run a couple of appliances off. But are double adapters safe?
Double adapters can seem like the quick, easy option to solve a short term need. However, when they become part of the integral electrical design of a home or business, you are setting yourself up for problems.
Why Are Double Adapters Dangerous?
One of the biggest problems is that double adapters don’t provide any overload protection. This means they can be easily overloaded if you have a high-drawing appliance such as a heater or hair dryer or too many devices running off the same outlet. They can overheat quickly and it’s a common cause of house fires.
The risk of electrical fire is further increased when you start piggy-backing or daisy-chaining power sockets. The practice of plugging a double adapter into another power board is an absolute recipe for disaster and a house fire waiting to happen.
Apart from the risk of fire and wiring looking unsightly, overloading power boards is one of the most common causes of frequent circuit breaker tripping.
Another common problem with double adapters is the design. Many have sloping sides which means that when a device is plugged in, it is easier for it to become dislodged. If the pins of the plug are exposed this is effectively a live electrical current. If anything comes into contact with it, be it a child’s finger, a pet’s collar or a piece of jewellery, it could result not only in electrocution but also risks blowing a circuit if you don’t have a safety switch installed on it.
Many cheap or old double adapters may not even comply with Australian standards. In fact, they are considered so dangerous that they are banned in some states like Victoria, where they cannot be used on building sites. It’s really not worth taking the risk, if you’ve had a double adapter sitting in the cupboard for a number of years.
So it looks like the definitive answer to: ‘are double adapters safe?’ is a resounding: ‘No – absolutely not’. So what’s the solution?
What Should You Use Instead?
So if double adapters aren’t safe, is it better to use a power board? Well, power boards are certainly safer providing they have surge protection such as a circuit breaker or safety switch. Look for a power board with a reset ‘red’ button. However, while they are a safer option, they should not be relied on as a permanent solution to your expanding power needs.
The simplest, most-effective solution to the need for more power sockets is to ask your electrician to install more general-purpose outlets (GPOs).
At Unified Electrical we can install many different options including a 4 plug powerpoint or even one of the newer type double powerpoint with integrated USB ports. These are great for reducing the need to use up 2 points to charge your devices.
Installing internal or external powerpoints is a quick and easy job for a qualified electrician. Give our Campbelltown electricians a call today on 0414 751 299 to reduce your reliance on temporary adapters and power boards AND make your home or business a safer place.