Taking care of electronic devices and appliances

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Taking care of electronic devices and appliances

Chances are, you've got dozens of appliances scattered around your home. Each of these devices carries a fire safety risk.

Here are some tips for using appliances safely.


  • Turn off appliances when not in use. If practical, unplug them at the wall as well.
  • Keep all electrical appliances away from water.
  • When buying second hand appliances, ensure they've been tested by a licensed electrician or gas fitter, and have been certified as safe.
  • Do not place fans, heaters, televisions or other electrical equipment in areas without good airflow, as they may overheat.
  • If you're worried about the conditions of any appliances (like electric blankets, heaters, air conditioners or fans), have them checked by a qualified electrician.

Leads and cords

  • Don't overload multi-boards. At most, plug in one appliance per wall or multi-board socket.
  • Never plug an adaptor or multi-board into another adaptor or multi-board.
  • Make sure leads and cords are in good condition and not frayed.
  • Never put extension cords under carpets or mats, and avoid using them while they are tightly coiled.
  • Ensure furniture does not rest on top of electrical leads.
  • Remember that extension cords are not designed to be permanent replacements to your home's internal wiring.


  • Remove lint from the clothes dryer filter after each use. Static electricity and build up of heat can cause dust, lint and chemical residue on clothing to catch fire.
  • Ensure the dryer goes through the full cycle, including cool down, before you open it.
  • Ensure there's proper ventilation and air space around the clothes dryer.
  • Don't install a smoke alarm in your laundry as you might get false alarms. Try a heat alarm instead. For more information, take a look at our smoke alarm guide.

Want to make sure your home is fire safe? Use our fire safety checklist to find anything that might be putting you at risk.