Power strips are practically indispensable in our modern lives. Let’s face it: it seems like no matter how few appliances, electronics, and other devices we try to use, our homes simply don’t have enough outlets to accommodate our needs. So, we turn to power strips, which can help us maximize the power of our wall outlets. Yet, if you aren’t being careful, using power strips can pose a serious fire safety hazard. Here are 4 things you should never, ever do when using power strips.
Don't plug a power strip into another power strip.
You’ve heard of daisy chains, or daisies threaded together by their stems. You might have even made daisy chains as a child! But, in the electrical world, daisy chains are a no-no. That’s because the practice, which refers to connecting multiple devices along the same line, is a huge hazard when used to connect power strips. Not only is it against OSHA regulations, but it also ups the chances that one of the strips will fail or catch fire. Never plug one strip into another. Buy extension cords if you need extra length.
Don’t confuse outdoor power strips with indoor power strips.
Adding lights to outdoor spaces is a great way to add a touch of coziness to your balcony, patio, or entryway. Yet, if you’re mistakenly using indoor power strips to power outdoor lights, you are making a grave mistake. Never use a power strip outdoors unless its label specifically says that the product is suitable for outdoor use. Not sure? Don’t risk placing an indoor-only power strip outside. It’s not designed to stand up to weather conditions and water and could spark if used incorrectly.
Never overload a power strip.
If you’re like most people, you use a lot of electrical devices, like a TV, a computer, and more. So, you might find it reasonable to plug as many devices as possible into one power strip. Not so fast! Every power strip comes with a specific capacity and can only accommodate so much power at one time. Overload the strip, and you could melt the plastic of the power strip and damage any surrounding equipment. Play it safe by using multiple power strips and unplugging devices when not in use.
Never leave power strips near children.
You might think that your child knows better than to mess with an electrical power strip. But, you’d be surprised at how often kids stick their fingers, toys, and forks into outlets and power strips! Protect children’s health and save your equipment by teaching children to stay away from outlets. Use outlet plugs in all wall and power-strip outlets, so that children can’t accidentally access the electrical charge beneath them. And, never leave strips where children might think that they’re something to play with.
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