Most probably, you use power strips and extension cords in your home. These days, our homes are equipped with numerous tools and appliances- all of which need the power to work. Also, people often need to use a lamp and charge their mobile and laptop at the same time. Using extension cords and power strips become inevitable because our homes are designed with only a certain number of power outlets.
Even though power strips are not the most effective solution to get electrical access, having these devices at home has become crucial. And like every other electronic equipment, power strips also have some safety hazards.
To keep your family and home safe, it’s necessary to know how to use power strips correctly. But before we look at the tips to properly use these power solutions, let’s first understand the difference between a power strip and extension cords.
Difference between a Power Strip & an Extension Cord
A power strip is a single long cable with a plug on one end and a row of sockets on the other. That means a cable connects multiple sockets that are embedded in a plastic box. It is extremely convenient to set up multiple devices using a power strip with only one socket. Power strips can be used for a few days, but on the downside, the use of high-power appliances may cause overload and severe electrical damage.
Extension cords, on the other hand, are much longer with only two or three plugs. These cords have a setup similar to power strips but are comparatively less stable and can be used only for an hour. As such, whether you’re using power strips or extension cords, make sure to use them properly to avoid problems.
Tips to Properly Use a Power Strip
The power strips and extension cords have become a go-to solution for many homeowners. However, some safety precautions are necessary to avoid power overload and fire hazards. Here are the top tips on how to use a power strip correctly.
1. Use Strip That Can Handle Your Wattage Needs
Not all power strips are capable of handling your wattage needs. There are various types of power strips used for different purposes, such as office power strips, industrial strips, hospital power strips, etc. So, before you purchase the one, make sure you know your wattage needs to choose the right one.
2. Don’t Plug One Power Strip into another Strip
Often to have extra cords, people create chains of power strips, which is extremely dangerous. This is because chaining your power strips can lead to an electrical fire. This is the most common cause of fire hazards and electrical damages in homes, so make sure to avoid this blunder. In addition to this, don’t plug in large appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, space heaters, and other high-current devices as it may trigger an electrical fire.
3. Make an Upgrade to Surge Protector
A power strip is designed to split the power coming from your outlet and not offer any surge protection. On the other hand, a surge protector adds protection for your appliances against dangerous power surges that can damage your appliances over time. So, upgrade to surge protector for safe operations.
4. Don’t Use Them as a Permanent Solution
If you think power strips offer a long-term solution, you’re wrong! These strips are intended for temporarily providing you additional power outlets. If you’re using it as a permanent solution and keep it plugged in 24/7, you’re risking your own safety. If the current number of outlets is not sufficient for your needs, it’s best to install more outlets.