Using an extension lead increases the risk of receiving an electric shock and presents a tripping hazard to others

The trailing length of cable can easily be damaged, so it is important to check that the cable, plug and socket are not damaged in any way, before using the extension lead. In particular, look out for nicks and deep abrasions in the cable, which could leave wires exposed. Pay attention to the plug as it is easily knocked while the extension lead is being handled, which may cause damage to the casing of the plug. A rubber-sheathed plug, which can withstand some ‘abuse’, is better than a standard plastic plug.

Do not use the extension lead if it has damage to the cable or to the plug or socket.

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When using an extension lead:

  • do not cause a tripping hazard - use safety signs to warn others;
  • always unwind the cable fully - otherwise the coiled cable will overheat;
  • make sure that the cable is not damaged or twisted - bare wires are a danger;
  • ensure that the plugs and sockets on the lead are not cracked or broken;
  • make sure that any electrical socket joints on the cable are not on a wet floor or near water;
  • do not allow the cable to run under doors - it may become damaged;
  • do not use an extension lead that is not longer than 18m (60ft) or "double up" extensions - using longer cables causes the voltage to drop too much
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