Does it seem like your household never has enough plugs available? This is a common problem for property owners, especially those who live in older homes. Many turn to power strips as a way to charge devices and use additional electronics from living areas to home offices. While they can be handy, it is important to keep in mind that there are some dangers associated with mishandling power strips. At Neighborhood Electric, we enjoy improving the safety and efficiency of our client’s properties. We would love to help you do the same for your house or office space. Here are some tips for properly handling power strips and advice on alternatives to consider.
Avoid Extended Use
Power strips shouldn’t be thought of as replacements for outlets. The wiring used inside the strip simply isn’t intended to handle long-term use in the same way. Neglecting this fact could cause the strip to overheat and become damaged.
Don’t Use in High Moisture Areas
Bathrooms, laundry areas, utility closets, basements, and kitchens are all examples of rooms with a higher moisture level. Using power strips in these locations can put you at a higher risk of electrical shock. Always use GFCI outlets in these spaces to improve safety.
Use Only with Small Appliances and Electronics
Power strips are not supposed to power heavy-duty tools, appliances, and equipment. They are designed to provide electricity to small appliances and devices only. Examples of appropriate devices include lamps, tablets and phone chargers, laptops, and video game consoles. Items like hairdryers, toasters, microwaves, portable space heaters, or mini-fridges can overwhelm your power strip.
Keep the Power Strip Uncovered
Power strips can be easily forgotten, especially if they are placed behind a dresser, bed, or desk. Also, avoid accidentally covering the strip with rugs, blankets, or lost clothing, as this could create an environment for electrical fires.
The next time you’re throwing a backyard barbecue, you may be tempted to bring your entertainment devices outdoors. Keep in mind that outdoor outlets are adapted to fit the needs of a more harsh environment. Exposing a power strip to the elements could put you and your guests at risk. If you don’t have enough outlets on your deck or patio, an emergency electrician can install more so you can keep the party going without compromising your safety.
If you do notice that an existing power strip has become damaged in any way, be sure to dispose of it right away.
Do You Need Professional Electricians for Your Nassau & Suffolk County, NY Home or Business?
Homeowners may choose to use power strips for various reasons, but they can be expensive and annoying to use. If you need more outlets or want better surge protection, professional electricians can offer effective alternatives. At Neighborhood Electric, our technicians offer a wide selection of premium services, including new outlet installations and whole house surge protection. Contact our office to learn more about the services offered in your neighborhood.