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Extension Cord and Outlet Safety at Home

Practicing good extension cord and outlet safety is important to prevent fires and damage to electrical systems. Many home electrical problems are caused by circuit overloads, power surges, and preventable fires related to items around outlets or cords catching fire. Protecting your home electrical system and essential power cords is important to preserve these items from damage, avoid damage to valuable appliances and electronics, and avoid fires from malfunction, lightning storms, or any other kind of electrical catastrophe. Here are a few tips for protecting your electronic valuables.

Don’t Overload Circuits

One of the most important preventative measures against damaging your appliances and electronics is to avoid overloading circuits. This is a common home electrical problem since, so often, numerous devices are plugged into a single outlet–straining the circuit. Depending on the nature of the wiring in your home, some circuits may be providing power to numerous outlets. When the strain placed on the circuit is high enough, it may eventually overload and can damage connected devices. If you suspect that your home wiring is contributing to circuit overloads, the wiring may have to be distributed around multiple circuits. This should be done by a professional electrician.

Install Surge Protectors

Power surges can damage or completely destroy appliances, electronic devices, and even compromise your home’s wiring. Installing surge protectors is one of the most effective ways to guard against damage to vital electrical hardware from high voltage surges. Surge protectors can be installed on individual outlets or as entire home protectors. In addition to these, consider using power strips for multiple devices. While these won’t always safeguard against a power surge, they can protect individual devices from damage. Be sure to find a specific surge protector power strip to ensure that the devices you plug into the strip are protected from increases in voltage.

Keep Rugs & Other Objects Clear

Avoid placing rugs or carpets over extension cords and be sure to keep objects from obstructing outlets. Cords that run beneath rugs can lead to fires if a problem occurs with a device, wire, or outlet. Anything that could potentially catch fire should be relocated away from outlets, power strips, and extension cords. House fires the result from electrical problems often spread quickly and do more damage from objects near the source catching fire. Be aware of what is running under and around carpet, rugs, furniture, and other household items.