Safety & fire prevention tips for charging your Electric Vehicle using an extension lead

Safety & fire prevention tips for charging your Electric Vehicle using an extension lead

Date: 15th March 2021
Author: Liz Farrimond

Electrical Safety First surveyed 1,500 electric vehicle owners on their EV charging habits. 74% used domestic multi-socket extension leads, not suitable for outdoor use. Over half used them when it was raining. 75% admitted to ‘daisy-chaining’ extension leads to reach their vehicle. This is highly dangerous as it can lead to overheating and an increased risk of electric shock.

It can be tempting to just plug in your Electric Vehicle at home or work using an extension lead.

If you do - it should only be a temporary solution, and you should consider the tips below to reduce the fire risk.

‘‘CABLES AND LEADS, SLIPS & TRIPS – SOME SAFETY TIPS’’ by registered charity Electrical Safety First

- Before charging from a 13A mains socket, make sure the wiring has been checked . Old wiring might not be able to handle the demand from charging your vehicle overnight (or all day at the office) which could result in a fire in your property.

- If your extension lead crosses a path, cable protectors (like those used by utilities contractors), should be used to reduce the risk of tripping; allowing the safe passage of pedestrians.

- Any piece of equipment used to cover a cable, should be anti-slip and brightly coloured.

- Your extension cable should be purchased from a reputable supplier. These cables must be certified for outdoor use.

- You should check if your home insurance would cover you in the event of an accident.

- If you find that your cable isn’t long enough, do not daisy-chain extension leads. This can overload the socket and lead to fire or risk of electric shock.

- If you have to use an extension lead, it’s strongly recommended that no extension lead longer than 15 metres be used. If using a cable drum extension lead, it should be completely unwound to avoid overheating.

- Ensure that the extension lead is plugged into an RCD protected socket or use a plug-in RCD.

- Check your charging cable regularly for wear and tear. If you spot any damage stop using it immediately and get a replacement.

- Never try to join two lengths of cable together by twisting the bare ends of wires together.

- And be sure you don’t overload a socket by plugging something else into your extension lead at the same time you are charging your car.

Alternatively - you could have an electric vehicle charging point installed.

Not only will it charge more efficiently, but it will also charge more safely and securely (you won’t overload your power supply or have security issues with open windows).

To lower the cost of having a dedicated charger installed, you can apply for a Government Home Charge Scheme or Workplace Charge Scheme grant (worth £350/unit). For a business, this could equate to £14k in savings, if you go for the max allowance of 40 EV chargers.

Following the recent budget, businesses will also be able to apply for super-deductions, as EV chargers are now classified as ‘plant equipment’; which will allow companies to cut their tax bill by up to 25p for every £1 they invest.

If you would like to move to a safer, more secure and more efficient EV charging solution, that you can add to when you require multi vehicle charging - please get in touch.

What could it cost you if you don’t move to a safer option?

You can find out more about Electrical safety and EV Charging in the Electrical Safety First Guide to Electric Vehicles

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