These little wiring diagram safety cards cards attached to the pins of a plug, usually on an extension lead, when you buy them new are very handy should you need to rewire the plug. But let’s be honest who is going to buy this new, then un-wire and rewire the plug? No one. And if you need to re-wire the plug in the future what’s the chances of you still having the card? Slim.
However, if you are like many who don’t remove it you probably will still have it.
Wiring diagram safety cards on a plug are packaging; just like the plastic wrapper or bag the item comes in. Do you remove the bag before using the lead? Of course you do; so why wouldn’t you remove the card? You should but so many people leave them on.
In itself this isn’t a major issue; the chances of the plug getting so hot the card catches fire are very slim, and to get that hot the plug will be on fire too anyway but the biggest issue is that the card is a couple of millimetres thick meaning the connection between the pins and the socket isn’t as specific as it should be, which could prove dangerous; mainly as the earth connection isn’t as good as it should be. With that in mind our recommendation is to remove the wiring diagram safety cards from the plug before you start to use the appliance.
When we are PAT Testing we come across these safety cards a lot, and always remove them; but if the customer removed them before plugging in we wouldn’t have to. So next time you buy a new extension lead or electrical appliance; take the wiring diagram safety card off the plug when you take away the plastic wrapping.