If your power strip isn’t long enough, you might be tempted to plug it into another one, creating a daisy chain of power strips. It may seem like good problem solving, but trust us, it isn’t. Doing so can end in disaster - it can cause one or more of the strips to fail or even catch on fire. For that reason, plugging two power strips together is against about half a dozen regulations in a professional setting.
This one may sound obvious, but many are still guilty of doing it from time to time. Every power strip has a load capacity, which means it can only move so much power through its circuits at any given time. Overloading the strip can create a fire hazard, melt the plastic, and damage your home as well as any surrounding equipment. If you’re not sure how much your power strip can take, try to calculate the amperage requirements of everything you’re going to plug into it.
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As electricity moves, the electrons can generate heat. If the power strip is in an enclosed space, under the rug, for example, this accumulation can create a fire hazard. Moreover, if you accidentally step on the power strip or any of the attached power cables because they’re out of sight, you can damage them or worse, get an electric shock.
Appliances like hairdryers, curling irons, hair straighteners, and other beauty tools all work by generating heat, and in order to be able to do it, they draw quite a bit of amperage. Power strips aren’t designed to generate that kind of consistently high amperage, so such beauty tools should be plugged into an outlet.
There are certain power strips that are designed for use outdoors. Unless the label specifically states it, do not try to use a regular power strip outside, it’s not designed to stand up to weather and water. Keep it indoors and find one suitable for the elements.
Knowing a power strip should never get wet is common sense, electricity and water do not mix. A mistake some might make without realizing is using a power strip in an environment that might become damp, like a basement. Another thing that might lead to a water-related accident is plugging your sump pump into a power strip. Better go with an outlet that’s well above floor level in case the sump pump fails and flooding occurs.
Coffee makers, microwaves, and toasters - all of those modern cooking miracles that make our lives easy should never be plugged into a power strip. Just like hair care appliances, kitchen devices usually generate heat. The coffee maker needs to produce enough heat to turn those beans into liquid, not to mention all the energy a microwave needs to thaw, reheat, and speedily cook food. A power strip just can’t provide this amount of energy, thus these appliances need their own dedicated power outlets.
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