Now we are all able to travel more freely again it is important not to assume that electrical safety abroad is as good as here at home. Electrical safety standards in the UK are higher than in many other countries.
Despite obvious differences e.g., plugs and sockets, there are other aspects you should also be aware of. For example, electricity supplies worldwide can vary from anything between 100V – 240V but the normal voltage and frequency supply in the UK is 230 v 50Hz. This means it is not always safe to use UK electrical equipment that is rated at a voltage which is different to the foreign supply, therefore it is especially important to check before plugging your appliance in.
What are travel adaptors?
A travel adaptor is a device that allows you to plug any UK electrical appliance into a foreign electrical socket. However, it is important to note that it does not convert the voltage or frequency.
Keeping yourself safe is easy if you follow these simple rules:
- Never touch electrical equipment with wet hands
- Never touch light switches if they are cracked or show signs of damage
- Never plug equipment into a socket which looks damaged/cracked or has part/all of the cover missing
- Never use mains-powered electrical appliances in a bathroom
- Always check cables are securely attached and not cut or damaged in any way. Cables should also be checked for signs of overheating, such as discoloration
- Never ignore burning smells, sounds of arcing (buzzing/cracking), fuses blowing or scorch marks on plugs and sockets
- Always check that the travel adaptor you are using is the correct type for the country you are travelling to and never force it into a socket if it doesn’t easily fit.
Before you set off on your travels, consider the following tips:
- Find out about the type of sockets and the voltage used in the country you are visiting
- Think about the appliances you intend to take and whether you will need to use a travel adaptor or voltage converters (and what their power rating should be)
- Consider buying the travel adaptors and voltage converters before you go as not all products available abroad will meet British safety standards.
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The information contained within this blog is provided solely for general informational and educational purposes and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Before taking any actions based upon this information, we advise the reader to consult any and all relevant statutory or regulatory guidance and where felt necessary to consult a qualified fire or industry regulation professional. The use or reliance on any information contained herein is solely at the reader’s risk.