What Are The Uses & Hazards Of Power Strips

Have you ever felt the need to plug in your device but couldn’t find an empty plug point? Have you ever felt the need to have additional switchboards that can resolve the usage of devices? If yes, then you probably are well aware of the power strip or the extension cord switchboard. The power strip has been one of the many useful electrical products in our homes. 

But did you know that reports by NFPA suggest that 55000 homes have been destroyed since 2000, resulting in 455 deaths and 1500 injuries annually in the US? NIOSH’s popular report suggests that Electrical Accidents are the third leading cause of industrial deaths in America. A major reason for this is an electrical power failure, overloaded circuits, and improper usage.

Power Strips fulfill a lot of usage in daily life but are equally prone to hazards. These strips have to be used in a manner that is best recommended for home-usage. A report by the MIT university highlighted some common concerns with electrical appliances and how they become risky.

Uses of These Strips:

These strips are considered to be safe devices if used sparingly. They come in handy for a lot of needs and resolve any problem through the following enumerated uses.

  • Resolve the issue of having multiple switchboards;
  • They are extremely cost-effective;
  • They are extremely safe in case of permissive devices such as computers, chargers, and devices of everyday usage;
  • They are extremely mobile and easy to carry;
  • They fulfill the functional necessities of the power requirements of common household appliances;
  • They greatly enhance the reach of the switchboard, making it convenient to power devices that are placed at a distance from a plug point;
  • They are extremely accessible and convenient for day-to-day requirements;
  • Usage of approved electrical strips can even support significantly larger devices and their electrical output usage;
  • Approved surge strips and cords have a built-in fail-safe that prevents the damage to the main circuitry;
  • Many of these strips also facilitate ease of access in the home as well as workspace

 

To be on the safe side, it is essential to note the following hazards that these strips are prone to.

 

Electrical Surges

Most of these electrical strips specify the power capacity and must be used accordingly. However, the real problem is when unapproved or improper strips are used. Since these electrical strips are connected to the man switchboard, they might result in power surges. It happens especially if too many devices are plugged into a single system.

 

Accidental Fires

It is a known fact that one of the many reasons why electrical fires continue to be a major concern is the lack of vigilance on the part of the people. Most electrical issues manifest with the usage of faulty wires or worn out wires lacking proper insulation. Therefore, one must refrain from using a cord or plug with the evidence of burning, melting, or any other damage. It is one of the principal causes of accidental fire due to electrical outage.

 

Reduced Electrical Output

OSHA guidelines mandate that the electrical outputs to each plug point are assigned based on the grid capacity and the requirement. Accordingly, when such cords or electrical strips are plugged in, this ratio is disturbed, causing much of the load to be directed to the switchboard. It further causes issues as it may result in faulty output, load shedding, or circuit leaking due to excess power.

 

Electrical Overload

The fire protection and safety standards and the OSHA guidelines constantly advise against daisy-chaining of surge output strips or extension cords. Daisy-chaining is a process that happens when one surge output is plugged into a chain of other power outlets. It causes a massive electrical overload on the existing circuitry hose wattage permits a limit in the usage.

Fuses and Burns to Main Circuits

Apart from causing massive electrical overloads, daisy chaining is also known to cause many circuitry to fuse and is even known to damage the main grid. The primary reason is that daisy-chaining results in excessive electrical output demand to channel through multiple strips. Further, each strip consists of multiple switches that overshoot the normal capacity of the grid. Thus, it causes massive circuit breaks, fuses, and in some cases, power-tripping or damage to the MCB/RCCB.

 

Conclusion:

Although these devices are generally considered safe, however, they must be used within permissible limits sparingly. Over usage or improper usage can cause even the safest of devices to become a potential hazard for your home or office space. The risk or threat of accidental fire or damage to the circuitry can be easily prevented with a little bit of awareness and vigilance on your part. Alertness, awareness, and preparedness on your part can avert any potential threat of electric fires of circuit damage. For more lifestyle tips and hacks visit: workingdaddy

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