Power Strips 101

While we’re becoming more ‘wireless’ than we’ve ever been, the devices that run our lives today all require electricity of some sort in order to function. As a result, we still need to plug things in. And what’s one of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to electrical safety?

Overloading power strips.

So let’s be real for a minute – we’ve all overloaded power strips. Admit it. It’s easy to do, it’s easy to convince yourself you can get away with it for a few minutes and it’s even easier to just forget about it and leave the device plugged in.

What isn’t easy – is dealing with the damage that can be caused by an overloaded board. Here are some safety tips from us on how you can protect yourself and your home for the dangers of overloading power strips.

Never piggyback

The piggyback method is a really bad idea that people have that overloads a power strip by plugging one plug in and then connecting another to create a longer chord. Truth is – every strip has a max current rating and that’s determined by the design and structure of the strip. It doesn’t account for the use of other adaptors or other strips. So when you add another strip to a strip – you are creating too much current and simultaneously creating an electrical fire hazard!

Overload protection

Most power strips have overload protection built it. It automatically interrupts power supplies and prevents excess electricity from damaging or exiting your power strip.

Mind your maintenance

In addition to not overloading your power strip, you should make sure it’s clean and maintained well. Be sure to keep it on its side so that dust doesn’t build up in unused or unwanted places on the strip. Also be sure to check the strip to make sure there’s no cracked covers, frayed wires, burn marks or discoloration. All those things could suggest your strip is old or entirely defective.

Keep your power strip ventilated

We’re not talking about keeping the strip cool so much as we’re asking you to keep them from overheating by stuffing them between couch cushions, furniture and the like. Make sure they have places to breathe. That way, you won’t have to worry about overload as much.

And finally

Make sure you’re not plugging in things that have a higher wattage than what your strip can hold. 90% of power strip related fires come from just that. Plug in the usual stuff – lamps, cell phones, etc – but when it comes to bigger ticket items like TV’s or air conditioners – keep those plugged into the wall directly.


If you need help ensuring a safer electrical outlay in your home, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free inspection! See you again soon!