Whenever it is a cooler night (or day), many of us will reach for a portable heater to plug in and warm ourselves (or a room) without a second thought. However, when you are in the workplace, onsite or in an office, your first thought should always be for electrical powerboard safety. Don’t use household plugs, do use heavy duty wall plugs – and absolutely avoid using powerboards. Here’s why…
Don’t Use Powerboards In The Workplace
We understand the temptation. Many offices or work-sites have a portable heater plugged into multi-plug powerboard (with or without a surge protector) plus various other devices or appliances also connected to it. It just seems simpler and faster to plug and go – connecting all your appliances and devices into that one handy power-board. Powerboards or multi-boards (often with surge protectors) are typically, domestic low-cost multi-switched boards that are merely an expansion of a wall outlet. They are known by several names,
They are known by several names, EPOD, (Electrical Portable Outlet Device), Multiple-Outlet Portable Power Board or power-board for short. But for commercial compliance you need to plug your appliances directly into the wall using heavy duty plugs. If you don’t use this method of powering your appliances and heater, it can lead to overload, causing a short circuit, burn out, or at worse …cause a fire.
During a recent cold snap, Comply Guy have had to deal with several office or workplace emergencies where multi-point powerboards have failed, burst into smoke or even flames after heaters have been plugged into them. Do you want to risk the health and safety of you and your colleagues? You or your company could be violating Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSH) regulations because the strip or wall receptacle may become overloaded.
Talk to us today if you’re unsure about onsite safety with multi-board power units.
So why does the destruction of workplace appliances, devices or, worse yet – a potential office fire occur? Comply Guy electrical safety specialist Pete explains that “this is mainly because many heaters draw 10 Amps (2400 watts). This is the maximum amperage that a wall socket or multi-board is rated to. Most wall sockets are able to exceed this rating. However, many domestic multi-boards are not….so when an appliance draws 10 Amps they are on their limit.
With most office multi-boards already running a computer, screen and often a printer, plugging a heater into it will push it over that 10 Amp threshold causing problems.”
So stay safe when the weather is cooler and using heaters or even when the temptation is there to stack up a range of appliances or devices into one domestic power-board . It is important that you take the necessary precautions to prevent fires, electric shocks, severe injuries or even death. Overloading powerboards with multiple appliances and adding double or triple adaptors are a leading cause of fire.
Plug heaters, jugs, and microwaves or anything above 7 Amps (1700 watts) directly into a wall socket to ensure that the 10 Amp limit is not exceeded.
Comply Guy are workplace or office electrical safety & compliance safety specialists – so we’ll keep it simple for you. Need to know more about powerboards, electrical safety with domestic appliances, and electronic or commercial devices in the workplace? Contact Comply Guy today.