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 . 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 . 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: http://www.recall-warnings.com 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 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 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