Power Strip Safety

Last week my wife and I finally decided to replace the carpet in our den. Naturally the task of unhooking the stereo and TV fell on my shoulders, and I'm glad it did - I made an important safety discovery as a result.

The power strip I'd been relying on revealed a nasty secret, as you can see from the photo, the last outlet shows heavy scoring, and discoloration, a precursor to fire. Thankfully I caught it in time. photo

After making this discover I was curious, so I did a bit of research, and discovered that not all all power strips are created equal. The truth is, if you intend to use a power strip, in an ongoing way, the best solution is to contact a qualified electrician who can evaluate your power needs for a give you advise as necessary. (I have an appointment scheduled next week)

However, if you use a power strip for its intended convenience here are some tips and links that I'd recommend you check into.


  • Always check to see that the product you're using is UL (Underwrites Laboratory) certified. The code that address "surges suppression" is 1449
  • Understanding the distinctions between, power strips  with surge suppression, and power strips with internal circuit breakers makes a big difference **Only use power strips and surge suppressors with internal circuit breakers.**
  • Never overload your home or offices circuit - and NEVER 'daisy-chain' more than one power strip together.
  • If your power strip has frayed wires, scored outlets, or inoperative switches then throw it away, its not safe any more.

For most of us, these power strips are a convenient, simple and inexpensive solution to a lack of power outlets.

Not approved!

A desire for convenience is natural, but we should try to place safety first.

If you'd like to learn more about risk avoidance and how insurance protects your assets please feel free to contact us.

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