How to Use a Power Strip Correctly
How to Use a Power Strip Correctly
January 31, 2019
Have you ever found yourself using a lamp, a laptop, and a smart phone all at the same time? Sometimes two spots for plugs on an outlet just isn’t enough to power all of the electronics we use every day.
The go-to solution for many homeowners is to plug in a power strip. But many people do not realize there are fire hazards associated with power strips.
At 24/7 Electric, our top priority is customer safety. Here are our top tips on how to use a power strip correctly.
Top Tips for Power Strips
1. Upgrade to surge protectors.
Did you know that power strips do not automatically have any surge protection? A power strip simply divides up the power coming from your outlet. A surge protector also defends your appliances from harmful power surges that weaken and damage your tech over time.
2. Make sure your strip can handle the wattage you need.
Did you know there are different types of power strips for different purposes? There are office power strips, industrial power strips, outdoor power strips, hospital power strips, and more. If you are planning to use a power strip for Christmas lights or other outdoor equipment instead of just small household devices, make sure you buy one that can handle higher wattage.
3. Never plug power strips in to each other.
Daisy chaining your power strips can lead to an electrical fire. While it is common to create a chain of Christmas lights or other plugs, never try it with power strips. Your safety is worth so much more than the added convenience of extra cords.
4. Don’t use them as a long-term solution.
Power strips are meant to be used infrequently for short periods of time. Leaving them plugged in 24/7 is not as safe as simply using an outlet.
5. Consider outlet installation.
If you find that you don’t have enough outlets for all of the technology in your home, consider having some more installed. This is a much safer and more effective solution than power strips in the long run.
5 Things to Never Plug into a Power Strip
- Large Appliances – Anything that cycles on and off like a washing machine or a refrigerator is likely to overload a power strip.
- Kitchen Tools – Microwaves, coffee makers, crock pots and toasters are not power strip safe. If you need to use lots of kitchen tools at once and you feel that you don’t have enough outlets at counter-level, consider installing a few more.
- Hair Care Tools – Straighteners, curling irons, and hair dryers are typically used in a bathroom. You should always plug your tech into a GFCI outlet if you are near a source of water. This protects you from electrocution and keeps you from tripping a circuit breaker.
- Sump Pumps – The same logic applies for sump pumps. Since they are designed to prevent basement flooding, they should draw their power from GFCI outlets.
- Portable Heaters or Air Conditioners – Even though they are much smaller than refrigerators or washing machines, portable heaters and air conditioners still cycle on and off during use. This could trip a circuit breaker if you use a power strip.
Did you learn something new about how to use a power strip correctly?
Power strips can be useful tools, but it is important to only use them safely. We hope these tips will help protect families from electrical fire hazards and educate them on electrical safety.
If you need a licensed and qualified electrician in Calgary, call 24/7 Electric! 587-315-1361 for a Calgary Electrician, or complete our online request form.3