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East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo
Cable drum

Fire caused by electrical overload of an extension cable drum

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The cable drum ignited and was destroyed

The cable drum ignited and was destroyed


Damage in the immediate surroundings

How this fire happened

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

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. 

The effect it had

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. 

Further information

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.



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Latest Update :
30 January 2015
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