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Foreign Plug Adapter Advice

Foreign plug adapter | A safe plug adapter with a fuse.

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When using a foreign plug adapter, keeping safety in mind is important. Whilst they can be very handy when abroad or when using foreign equipment here in the UK, there are some really key things to remember to ensure that you are using it safely!

In today’s blog, we will explore some of the dos and don’ts to remember when using a foreign plug adapter to ensure the highest level of electrical safety.

How does a foreign plug adapter work?

Travel plug adapters allow different plug types to fit into different sockets. They are very useful for international travel, allowing a wide range of electrical appliances to be used abroad or vice versa. However, they should not be used as a permanent solution in the workplace.

Are foreign plug adapters safe to use?

It’s not uncommon for our team to find that a piece of equipment with a European plug (two-prong style) is being used with an ineffective adapter, meaning that it could become a potential hazard in the workplace!

One of the main concerns when people buy a foreign plug adapter online is that they very often come without fuses, which greatly reduces their safety. A fuse will blow and break the circuit if too much current is drawn through it, which can happen due to an overload or fault. As well as this, some adapters stop the appliance from being earthed, which can create a real hazard if handled incorrectly because the electricity will not flow into the ground. This can lead to serious injury.

What’s also very important to note is that many insurance companies will not cover the cost of damages caused by a malfunctioning plug adapter. Health and safety at work are obviously very important, and our PAT testing team are on hand to ensure that you’re meeting the electricity at work regulations with the equipment used in your office.

Foreign plug adapter | Unsafe plug adapter with three pins and no grounding or fuse.

Here is an example of a bad adapter, as it’s not fused. The earth pin is sheathed, preventing correct earthing and it’s got no protection stopping people from putting anything against the live and neutral connections which could be a real hazard!

What can be done to improve safety?

Our UK plugs are required to be fused thanks to the Plugs and Sockets legislation, but many foreign plugs are not.

The good news is that some adapters are actually very well-equipped to increase safety and reliability!

There are foreign plug adapters that contain a fuse, and these can be used safely in an office environment as long as the power levels are understood and abided by. Some electronic devices require more power, so it’s important to know if your adapter plug is capable of handling high power if necessary.

Foreign plug adapter | Unsafe plug, two pins and no grounding.

How can Sussex Facilities Management Help – Sussex PAT Testing

Our MPAT Portable Appliance Testing (PAT Testing) service is on hand to ensure that your workplace is safe when using electrical equipment.

Our team are experts in the inspection and testing of electrical equipment to find any faults and alert you to them in order to maintain a safe working environment.

We are also able to convert some appliances to use the standard UK plug permanently so that adapters are no longer necessary. However, in some cases, this is not possible and we would recommend replacing the appliance with a UK version when possible for the highest level of safety.

If you’d like to book a PAT test today to ensure that the appliances in your workplace are safe to use, give us a call on 01444 812 171 or visit our PAT testing page to find out more.

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