Plug Strips and Surge Protectors

Everyone knows that there just doesn’t seem to be enough receptacles around our house, especially if you have an older one. So next thing one knows you have plug strips or Surge Protector strips everywhere. Those things “can” be a fire hazard if not sit upright, and getting a cheap one isn’t in your favor either. According to ESFI (Electrical Safety Foundation International), there are 3300 house fires each year and about 5-0 deaths from these units so, think that over for a minute.

Here are some things you should know and do’s and don’t Know the appliance that you get. All of them “should be” UL listed from Underwriters Laboratory. If not, RUN! If so then all equipment is required to state it’s capabilities on a label somewhere. An example might say “AC 15 amps, 125 volts, 60 HZ, 1875 watts”. Watts is important and it is not uncommon to find equipment like, say, a floor heater that already uses 1500 to 1875 watts all by itself. We have problems all the time with that as electricians. Breakers popping because there is a floor heater, a TV, a computer, and a bed heated blanket all on one surge strip! So know what your stuff uses for power, and what your strip can handle.

Another problem child is window Air Conditioners. If your house happens to have aluminum then you have a recipe for disaster right there. Get a good Surge Protector or power strip, not the cheapest on the market. And DO NOT start stacking strips one on another! They have smaller wire than usually is in your house anyway and when you start stacking them their capability is seriously reduced. If your expected use is longer than a couple of hours then the capability is even further reduced. Do not plug them into an outlet that seems loose. Another recipe for disaster so call a professional or get it replaced somehow.

I hope this helps your awareness and keeps you safe into the New Year!

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