Don’t trip up this year! Powerboards, extension leads and aged-care safety

Is it wise to use extension leads and powerboards within a residential aged care setting?

While extension leads and powerboards are undoubtedly a useful, and often necessary solution to power supply shortages, when it comes to aged care safety they should only be considered a temporary solution.

Energy Safe Victoria and the Office of the Chief Electrical Inspector warn that extension leads and powerboards are just a short-term solution to powering appliances. They recommend the installation of permanent power points by a registered electrical contractor.

This is because any type of electrical lead can become a falls hazard. Aged care residents, staff and visitors are all at risk of tripping where extension leads and power boards are used.

If you do have extension leads and power boards in use at your facility, please consider the following:

  • Do not use power boards in wet areas or areas where water is likely to be present (e.g. bathrooms, kitchen areas)
  • Never use double adapters in conjunction with a powerboard or ‘piggy back’ power boards
  • Make sure that all extension leads and powerboards are tested by a licensed contractor and carry a current inspection tag
  • Ensure that powerboards are only used on power circuits protected by a safety switch (RCD)
  • Wherever possible, replace extension cords and powerboards with permanent power points

If you have any concerns about the electrical safety of your aged-care facility please do not hesitate to contact us. We have years of experience working with aged-care facilities and we will ensure that your organisation is operating to optimum electrical safety standards.