Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Insurance tips and safety issues in your home: Tip of the month for October 2009

 With today’s heavy use of electrical devices, it is quite common to run short of electrical outlets in the office, home or workshop. Often one will add a power strip to help alleviate the problem, but people will also add a second or even a third strip by plugging it into the original power strip, a practice known as daisy chaining.  Unfortunately, daisy chaining can create a potentially serious fire loss due to overloaded electrical circuits. 

Every year thousands of fires result from the misuse and overloading of power cords, power strips and surge protectors. Unfortunately, poor quality or defective power strips increase the dangers from misuse and overloading. There have also been recalls on various power strips. You may go to this website: to find out if your power strip has been recalled.

A power strip, otherwise know as a relocatable or temporary power tap, is not designed to be used as permanent wiring. When you are not using an electrical device connected to a power strip, it is recommended the power strip be unplugged from the outlet, unless the power strip is a UL or ELT listed device and has an internal fuse protector. There is no substitute for permanent wiring. A job most licensed electricians are willing to complete.

Guidelines for Use of Power Strips

    • Use only surge protectors or power strips that are “listed” by UL (Underwriters Laboratory) or ELT (Electrical Testing Laboratories)
    • Check to be certain the markings are readily visible on the back of the strip indicating the name of the manufacturer and testing lab used.
    • Plug only one strip into single duplex (2 outlet) wall outlet.
    • DO NOT DAISY CHAIN - Do not connect one strip to another forming a daisy chain.
    • Avoid using an extension cord to reach a remote outlet.
    • Visually inspect all power strips regularly to ensure they are not damaged, pinched, crushed or abused in any way.
    • Unplug the strip when the appliance powered by the strip is not in use.
    • If the power strip becomes hot to the touch – unplug and consult a licensed professional.
    • Do not use a power strip that does not have an internal circuit breaker.
    • Never use a three to two prong adapter to energize the unit.
    • Never cut off the grounding prong of a 3-prong plug.
    • Use strips with three –prong grounded plug or one with a polarized plug.
    • Equipment with heating elements should not be energized via a power strip such as a hotplate, heat gun, coffee pot or a toaster.
      Thank you, Priscilla Tinsley, CISR

Posted via web from jaykaiser's posterous

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