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Click on a picture for a larger view   The cable drum ignited and was destroyed The cable drum ignited and was destroyed Damage in the immediate surroundings
Damage in the immediate surroundings
More electrical safety advice

Case reference - BM17


Black Museum

If you are using an extension cable drum ensure that all the cable is fully unwound from the drum as this reduces the chance of it overheating and igniting.

Fire caused by electrical overload of an extension cable drum

Cause of fire

Electrical overload of an extension cable drum with a large proportion of the cable still wound onto the drum.

Relevant Matters

The extension cable drum (max load wound 660W and 1760W unwound) was providing power to 2 power units (motor power 1000W each).

The extension cable drum was sited next to a cardboard box.

It was in use in a disused stone quarry some 100m underground where asbestos remediation was taking place.

Occupant's Impact Statement & Message

Thankfully this incident occurred in an area where there was very little combustible material present so the damage caused was minimal.

However, if there were a greater amount of combustible material this would have been a very significant and protracted incident due to its location.

Safety Message

Ensure that you take notice of the maximum rating of all extension cable drums and the rated power of the electrical items that you are connecting into it.

If you are using an extension cable drum ensure that all the cable is fully unwound from the drum as this reduces the chance of it overheating and igniting.

Free Smoke Alarms and Home Safety Visits

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service offer free smoke alarms and home fire safety visits to eligible homes across East Sussex and the City of Brighton & Hove.

If you would like further information or advice on either a domestic or commercial safety matter or would like to request a free Home Safety Check, please contact the Community Safety Team free of charge on 0800 1777069.

You can also make a request online by completing our online Home Safety Request Form

Do you have a similar story

Finally, we would be interested to hear from you if you have had a similar experience to the fire detailed above, or would like to raise any related matters or even just generally comment on how useful you found our Black Museum. Please send us your details and a comments via our on-line feedback form.

This page was last updated on 05 October 2013
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