Electrical Portable Outlet Devices (EPODs) commonly known as "PowerBoards", "Multi-Plugs" and "Multi-Boxes" are multiple electrical sockets mounted onto a portable case. This allows you to plug in several appliances at once.
- Check the maximum load and be careful not to exceed it.
- EPODs are ideal for supplying electricity to appliances that consume minimal power, such as computers and TV’s.
- They should not be used with appliances that draw a heavy load of electricity such as heaters, electric jugs, washing machines and stoves. These appliances should be plugged directly into a wall socket.
EPODs are often used in older houses where sometimes there is only a single socket-outlet in a room. They are used to accommodate the growing number of electrical appliances in households, even in new houses.
For example EPODs are used with computers and associated equipment including a monitor, printer, scanner and modem. They are also used with televisions and DVD players, video recorders players, satellite receivers and stereo systems.
Using EPODs safely
The way most EPODs are used is that they are plugged into a free wall socket-outlet and the connected board containing typically 4 to 8 socket-outlets should be fixed adjacent to that socket-outlet.
This portability leaves the EPOD open to risk of physical damage, in that they can be easily dropped, stood upon, and caught under furniture. This damage is not always apparent and is often not noticed. The result of this damage often results in poor electrical contact between plug pins of appliances connected and the EPOD. Check regularly for wear and tear. If the EPOD is damaged, stop using it and replace it.
Poor electrical contact and overloading is a major cause of electrical fires, especially if the appliances connected draws heavy current loads, such as:
- Electric jugs/kettles,
- Washing machines,
These sort of appliances should be plugged directly into wall socket-outlets, not EPODs, because if used together they could exceed the "Total load" rating of the EPOD.
- Never use them in damp or wet areas if marked “For indoor use only".
- Always place EPODs out of the reach of young children.
Additional EPOD safety features
Some EPODs have additional features such as:
- Shuttered socket-outlets, which prevent children pushing something into them.
- Built-in RCD that will automatically disconnect power in the event of an earth fault.
- Surge protector that prevents sensitive electronic equipment being damaged by electrical surges (spikes).