Power strips: there is at least one in every house. Sometimes they are set up properly, but often they are not. A power strip can be a useful item to have around in order to keep a variety of electrical devices plugged in. But all too often people overload them, or simply use them incorrectly, and create a safety hazard.
Following two simple rules will help ensure the electrical safety of your power strips and ultimately make your home or office a safer place.
Rule #1: The power strip should be used on its own in an outlet.
A person should not plug a multiple plug adapter into the outlet, and then attach a power strip. This will cause too many potential points of failure at one outlet. A little jostling and the connections can become loose. Loose connections will often cause a spark, and if anything even remotely flammable is nearby, a fire can end up destroying the home. Always be sure your power strip is plugged directly into the outlet.
Our favorite basic power strip is Belkin’s 6-Outlet Power Strip:
Using this Belkin power strip will allow you to safely extend one outlet to power up to six electrical devices.
Rule #2: Never plug a power strip into another power strip
Doubling down can be a fun play in blackjack, but don’t risk it with power strips! In homes or buildings where there are not many outlets it can be tempting to plug multiple power strips into each other. This will give many more points of access, and allow more electrical items to be plugged in at one locale. While this is not as dangerous as overloading a single outlet, it can still lead to problems.
Each unit is generally equipped with its own surge protector. This will allow the power to turn off if a sudden surge of electricity comes through the line preventing damage to the gadgets that are plugged in. While it is a good thing for one strip, it can cause problems with multiple strips linked together. Overall the best advice is to put one power strip per outlet, and not to link them together.
The temptation to plug power strips into each other is frequently a sign that you should be upgrading to a strip with more outlets. We scoured the world of electrical supplies to find the biggest power strip we could and settled on Belkin’s 12-outlet surge protector:
By taking a little caution and using common sense there is no reason an electrical fire should start in a home. The proper use of a power strip will help ensure that one does not start. To find the perfect power strip for your needs, browse our electrical supply store’s Power Strips Department.