Our homes are overloaded with gadgets - from the entertaining like home cinema systems, PCs and stereos to the more mundane electrical appliances such as irons and vacuums. Read our guide to keeping your gadgets in good working order to keep you and your home safe:

electrical appliance plugs

The Knowhow

It's common sense but electrical appliances need to be maintained to make sure they are safe to use.

Safe sockets and plugs

What to watch for:

  • Loose wiring - check for hot plugs or sockets, scorch marks, fuses that often blow, or flickering lights
  • Badly wired plugs - any coloured wires sticking out could come loose and debris could also get into the plug. Make sure the wires are held firmly in place inside the plug
  • Using the right adaptor - advice says it's better to use a bar adaptor (multi board) on a lead than a block adaptor
  • Overloading sockets - don't plug one adaptor into another and try to keep to one plug per socket

Cables and Leads

What to check for:

  • Lead condition - replace the lead if it's getting frayed and damaged
  • Out of sight cables and wires getting worn through - if they run under a carpet or behind a sofa check them regularly


When you're fitting or replacing a fuse, it's important to use the right one for the appliance to make sure it doesn't overheat. Check the manual or look for a sticker on the appliance to find out its wattage and then use the correct fuse:

  • For appliances up to 700 watts, use a 3 amp fuse
  • For appliances between 700 and 1,000 watts, use a 5 amp fuse
  • For appliances more than 1,000 watts, use a 13 amp fuse

Following our commonsense gadget guide will make sure you and your electrical appliances are kept in their best condition.

Updated On:

Aug 01, 2012

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