Power strips are an extremely useful tool present in almost every home. They allow you to make the most of limited outlet space by extending the number of outlets available. While this is convenient and safe for small items like Christmas lights, there are limits to how this tool can be used.
In today’s article, we will be looking at how to use power strips safely, so you can enjoy their use without risking a dangerous house fire.
Do Not Use Outdoors
Most power strips are designed for indoor use only. If it is labeled for indoor use, you should never try to use them outdoors. If you need to use a power strip outside, seek out one specifically designed for outdoor use to limit fire risks.
Use Power Strips for Low Load Items Only
Power strips are not designed for items that need a lot of power to run. If you try to run an appliance such as a microwave or a space heater on a power strip, it can overload the strip and cause an electrical fire.
Never overload a power strip and stick to only low load items when choosing what to plug in to your strip.
Don’t Use Power Strips in Damp Areas
While its understandable that when you need an extra outlet, you really need it, in some cases it is better to hire an electrician and have one installed. In particular, if you need added power in a space that tends to be damp, you’ll want to avoid using power strips as much as possible.
This includes places like basements, bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms.
Don’t plug a power strip into another power strip
How many appliances you can run off an outlet isn’t purely limited to the number of places you have to plug in at. Plugging a power strip into another power strip, called daisy chaining, may seem like the source of unlimited power, but it’s very dangerous.
Instead of getting lots of power you may overwhelm the system, and possibly cause a fire.
Don’t Use Overheated Power Strip
If you notice a power strip has gotten hot, it’s time to unplug it. Power strips are not supposed to feel hot, so if yours does it means something is wrong. This may be a faulty power strip, but it’s more likely that the strip was used in an inappropriate manner.
Never Cover a Power Strip
Power Strips should never be covered by anything, stapled to anything, or nailed to anything. It’s important not to modify a power strip in any way. Power strips can easily get overheated from being insulated by cloth covering it up, and nailing it or otherwise piercing it can cause damage to the strip.
Power strips are useful, but they can also be dangerous if not used correctly. Follow these safety tips to make the best use of these valuable tools, without increasing your risk of a fire from safety issues.
If you find you need power and can’t get it safely with power strips, call your local electrician to see how more outlets can be added to your home or business safely.