Electrical Power Boards


Poor maintenance and incorrect usage of power boards can result in home and office fires endangering lives and causing considerable damage to property.

Statistics show that over 350 residential house fires are started by electrical faults in NSW each year.

Power board safety

Problems with power boards can arise from:

  • Overloading the power board.
  • Dust build up in unused points.
  • Power leads becoming dislodged over time, particularly under a desk where they are knocked by feet.
  • Poor placement of power cables and extension cords leading to the power board.
  • Inadequate ventilation of the power board preventing “normal” dissipation of heat generation.
  • Limited or no understanding of the amount of power being drawn by different appliances.
  • Heavy plug-in transformers that will "over balance" and partially unplug, resulting in over heating from poor connections.


  • The fire services recommend only using power boards with built in safety switches/circuit breakers.
  • Remember do not overload the power board.
  • Place power boards on their sides to prevent dust build up in unused points.
  • Regularly check that all plugs are firmly fixed in power boards.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation is provided for power boards.
  • Regularly inspect power boards and leads for signs of damage and degradation.

In an Emergency Call Triple Zero (000)

A collaboration of the Fire & Rescue NSW, NSW Rural Fire Service, ACT Fire Brigade and ACT Rural Fire Service