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5 Safety Tips For Using Power Strips In Your Home

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Power strips allow you to plug multiple electrical applications into one outlet. Power strips are also usually equipped with surge protection abilities, protecting anything that is plugged into the power strip from a surge. There are some safety precautions you need to take when setting up power strips.

Safety Tip #1: Don't Connect Power Strips Together

Power strips are not designed to be connected. When you use a power strip, you should plug it directly into the outlet. You shouldn't plug another power strip into the primary power strip — that will overload your electrical system. Only one power strip should be plugged into each electrical outlet.

Safety Tip #2: Be Careful With Extension Cords

You should not plug an extension cord into an outlet, then plug a power strip into the extension cord and plug items into the power strip. However, you can plug in a power strip directly to the outlet, and then plug an extension cord into the outlet. The extension cord should only be used to power a single item. The use of an extension cord should only be used temporarily.  

Safety Tip #3: Don't Use in Bathrooms

Power strips are not designed to be used in bathrooms or around water and moisture. If you need more outlets in your bathroom or kitchen, pay to have more GFCI outlets installed. These outlets are designed to turn off if they encounter moisture or water. They are special outlets that protect your electrical system. Power strips are not designed to be used in environments where there is moisture.

Safety Tip #4: Check the Wattage Limits

Each power strip is made to support a set amount of wattage. You don't want to plug in electronics that demand more wattage then the power strip can handle. When you plug items into the power strip, be sure to add up the maximum wattage these items will pull from the power strip.

Make sure the total wattage demands for the power strip doesn't exceed the capabilities of the power strip. If the wattage is greater than what the power strip can handle, you need to use a power strip that can handle that amount of wattage.

Safety Tip #5: Purchase a Certified Power Strip

Finally, when you purchase a power strip, like a lighted power strip, you need to make sure it is certified. Look for an Underwriters Laboratories certification, with the UL designation on the packaging.

Power strips should not be connected together and should not be plugged into extension cords. Power strips can support additional electronic devices when used safely and can allow you to plug in additional devices into a single outlet, assume you keep the wattage of the electronic items below the max wattage of the power strip.