As summer turns to autumn, students are gathering their belongings and heading off to College & University in droves. For many this will be their first experience of living on their own. There are a million and one things to organise at this time, but I suspect electrical safety isn’t high on the list. It should be!

Most students heading out on this new adventure will have no idea about electrical safety. Hardly any will have even wired a plug! All portable electrical appliances are supplied with a plug and the correct fuse. It helps you to understand how portable electrical appliances are designed to protect you from electric shocks and fires, if you understand what the plug and fuse do; as well as knowing what faults to look for.

Use our checklist and watch the video

Follow the checklist to make sure you know where the highest risks lie.

  • Do not leave anything switched on or on charge when you are not in the room.
  • Check electrical appliances are in good working order and there are no signs of damage.
  • Make sure the right fuse is in the appliance.
  • Only use extension leads as a temporary solution.
  • If you must use extension leads, make sure they have an RCD safety switch.
  • Don’t overload sockets! We have an easy to use calculator later in this article.
  • Make sure you don’t use appliances near to water.
  • Check that leads and cables are not trapped under furniture.
  • Ensure all fire exits and doors are kept clear.
  • Don’t cook when you get home after drinking alcohol. Takeaways are much safer!
  • ¬†Have an escape plan for either a fire in your room, or a room nearby.

Electrical safety – don’t overload sockets!

Students are generally operating out of a single room. So depending on how many socket outlets you have, you may be using extension leads. So make sure that you don’t overload any sockets when using them. Also. make sure that they have an RCD circuit breaker.

Use this simple socket calculator to make sure that you don’t

The Socket Calculator has been brought to you by Electrical Safety First.

For more safety information visit

Electrical safety – Visual inspection

By getting your student, son or daughter to watch the video below, you will be giving them a really useful insight as to how to keep themselves and their friends safe in their digs and house/flat shares.


If you have any questions about PAT Testing you can call us on 01392 364933. For general tips on electrical safety around the home, or student accommodation, go to Electrical Safety First