ORLANDO, Fla. — According to the U.S. consumer product safety commission, every year electric extension cords cause about 4,000 trips to hospital emergency rooms. The misuse of electric extension cords and power strips also cause more than three thousand house fires every year, killing about 50 people and injuring over 250. Here are some rules on how to use power strips correctly to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Between all the cellphones, computers, tablets, t-vs, stereos, routers, and lamps, you may have an area in your home that looks like this.
To keep this from becoming a fire hazard, rule number one is to never overload your power strips. If the power strip or extension cord feels hot, that is a sign that it is overloaded and may start a fire.
Rule two: never plug high power capacity appliances, like space heaters, refrigerators, or microwave and toaster ovens into power strips or extension cords. These appliances have higher power capacity and need to be plugged into a wall outlet directly.
Rule number three: always plug power strips directly into the wall. It is o.k. temporarily to plug an extension cord to a power strip, but never a power strip to an extension cord. Also, do not connect multiple extension cords together. And rule number four: don’t use indoor power strips outdoors. If the power strip gets damaged by rain or snow, it can damage anything plugged into it.
Another tip: never place rugs over extension cords. They can get easily damaged while being walked on and since the cords are out of view, the damage is too. Thus leaving exposed wires that can cause a fire.