With the myriad of appliances that we need to use every day, any number of plug points may never be enough. Power strips are a common household item and a savior that allows the homeowner to make the most use out of the available points.
Rather than having to swap plug points whenever we need to use a new device, a flat cord power strip allows users to use multiple devices at once.
Power Strip can be useful; however, their improper usage can bring along several risks. You need to handle these power strips with care and only as mentioned in the manuals. As with any electrical product, negligence can cause power strips to malfunction and lead to dangerous consequences.
Here are some habits that should be avoided or need to be taken care of to ensure that power strips function correctly:
Daisy-chaining involves interconnecting power strips with one another. Some buildings may not have adequate plug points, or they may not have plug points with enough power for specific appliances.
This encourages users to connect multiple power strips and use them. However, this can lead to overloading, power failure, and may trigger a spark. Using power strips this way, hence, should be avoided.
A flat cord power strip can only serve several appliances at once. Use them with equipment that matches their power rating. Using a power strip for multiple high-power appliances at once may overload it, which can lead to fire hazards.
Hence, incorrect usage of a power strip can have severe consequences. It is also a prime source of fire hazard and a common cause for most household fires. Hence, one needs to exercise caution when using power strips. Now that we are aware of behaviors to avoid when using a power strip let us look at some safety tips for using power strips.
To ensure that your flat cord power strip does not catch fire, you need to follow safety rules using power strips. Using power strips the right way ensures that your power strips function for a long time and that your household is not in danger. Here is what you should do:
Ensure that you purchase a power strip with an internal circuit breaker. An internal circuit breaker prevents fire and makes sure that appliances plugged into the power strip get protected. Additionally, to ensure maximum safety, ensure that a separate laboratory has been certified to be safe for use.
Every flat cord power strip is tested by independent labs to ensure their safety. You can find this in the form of marking done by ETL (Electrical Testing Laboratory) or UL (Underwriters Laboratory).
When using a flat cord power strip, ensure to keep the power strip in a clear view of everyone else. Do not attempt to hide it under a rug or behind a table. Keeping it in a clear view ensures that you can immediately detect if anything goes wrong with the power strip.
Additionally, it is essential to remember that power strips use electricity and hence generate heat. This heat needs to be dispersed to prevent the power strip from getting too hot and malfunctioning. That is why you should never cover power strips with items such as a rug.
You should never use a power strip in a moist environment unless designed for use in such areas. Using a regular power strip in areas such as the bathroom, kitchen countertop, or a garage that has not been weather-controlled can lead to dangerous consequences.
Electricity and water are a bad combination which can lead to mishaps. If you must use a power strip in such areas, use a moisture-resistant one, or hire an electrician to ensure safe use.
Power strips are not permanent alternatives for main power points. And, if you find yourself using a power strip every day for essential appliances, then it is better to hire an electrician to install more plug points in your home. Using a flat cord power strip continuously may lead to fire or may cause you power strip to eventually malfunction.
Before you purchase a flat cord power strip, know your requirement and the amperage rating. Using a power strip with a low amperage rating for high amperage appliances will lead to a fire hazard.
However, purchasing a power strip with a higher amperage rating than you require may be a better option as you will not face any issue with overloading.
While power strips may be a common household item, not many are aware of the correct way to use them. It is best to follow these safety tips to avoid fire hazards and keep your home and family safe.