Extension leads were originally intended to provide extra sockets for IT equipment in offices but now they get used for all kinds of electrical appliances so it is no wonder they get overloaded so easily.
Extension leads, blocks, adaptors, call them what you will are widely used; they’re a great device for increasing the number of sockets we have so we can plug in more equipment. You have plenty at home, and probably even more at work, however, you are probably using them incorrectly, potentially very dangerously!
Extension leads (or whatever you call them) were originally created when computers started coming into use more at work, to assist in powering them and their associated device
s, such as printers.
IT equipment doesn’t draw much power, so these leads were created to allow more appliances to be powered from the same socket, than is possible by plugging directly into the socket.
Such leads are generally designed to handle a combined load of less than 12 amps, which at most could be up to 6 low voltage devices; they were not designed to manage the power load required by common household appliances like microwaves, hair driers and fridges.
In offices and similar environments where appliances are all IT equipment, the power requirements are relatively low, and it may not be practical to install enough socket outlets for each appliance.
If this is the case for you, and you’re having to use extension leads for an extended period of time you need to monitor them regularly for any external damage, through regular PAT tests. If this happens then you really need to give serious consideration to installing more sockets.