Even everyday electrical equipment like power strips can be a safety risk when not maintained or used properly. The Electrical Safety Foundation International reports that more than 3,300 home fires originate from power strips and extension cords each year.
We care about your safety. Follow these best practices to stay safe when using power strips, surge protectors and extension cords.
- Power strips, surge protectors and extension cords are not a substitute for permanent wiring.
- Power strips are meant for indoor use only (unless specially designed for outdoor use).
- Keep children and pets away from all electrical cords and power strips.
- At no time should a power strip or surge protector in your home be exposed to moisture.
- Power strips should be plugged into a grounded wall outlet. Do not plug a power strip into an existing surge protector, power strip or extension cord.
- There should only be one power strip or surge protector plugged into a double wall outlet.
- Only use power strips for low-voltage electronics. Overloading a power strip can create a fire hazard.
- Keep all power strips and surge protectors uncovered so that air around it may circulate freely.
- If a power strip is hot to the touch, unplug and remove it immediately.
- Check power strips and surge protectors regularly to ensure they are not damaged.
Surge protectors protect you and your electronics
While power strips and surge protectors often look similar and have common functionality, surge protectors offer a greater level of safety, both for you and the devices you connect to it. Their built-in systems help prevent power surges from damaging connected devices, making them great for electronics sensitive to changes in power levels, such as TVs and computers. This makes surge protectors a bit more expensive than power strips, which don’t offer that protection. When you’re selecting which device to purchase, surge protectors will label themselves as such on their packaging, or by mentioning features like surge protection or surge suppression.
Advanced power strips protect your devices and help you save energy
An advanced power strip (APS) not only works like a surge protector, but it also helps you save energy you might not even realize you’re using. An APS reduces “phantom load,” the electricity a plugged-in device uses even when switched off. With an APS, you choose one device to serve as the “control,” such as your TV. That way, when you turn off your TV, other electronics plugged into the APS that you use with your TV – your sound system, media players, etc. – are automatically shut off completely without the need to unplug them or switch off the power strip to prevent phantom load. Using an APS with your home office or entertainment center saves you energy, time, effort, and money on your bill.