Fire accidents are common to occur in recent 10 years and about 10% occurrences are caused by power strips and sockets which rank the top among all kinds of fires. As you can see, power strips have become one of the potential safety hazards. Why is it the most common factor? It is because most people are easy to neglect this problem and rarely think about any risk when using a power strip. To not let power strips become a stealth bomber at home, here are 6 common questions you need to notice.
Question one: how to choose a safe power strip?
Choosing a safe power strip is the first step to ensure a safe environment.
1. Choose a power strip with suitable plug type and power rate. The rated power should not be low to ensure it can all load your devices.
2. Choose one with a grounded plug and national standard plug socket.
3. Pay attention to the area of power supply cord (power strips with standard 250V 10A require a power cord with 0.75mm sq). Don’t use a power cord that is easy to heat up once being used.
4. Note the clamping force of copper strips. A good power strip can guarantee at least 5000 times. Try it when buying one and don’t choose it that is too loose.
5. Note whether the switch is silver contact (reduce the electronic arc).
6. Check whether the materials are fire-resistant.
7. Choose a reliable brand. The top power strip brands include Belkin, Tripp Lite, BESTEK, etc.
Question two: is it dangerous that there comes sparks while plug in or plug out a power strip?
Don’t worry. This is a common phenomenon. When plug in the home power strip, there are currents flowing and cause a peak of current instantly, and power strip outlets and sockets commonly have contact resistance system, thus making a spark occur. But if sparks occur frequently, that may be caused by poor contact between socket and power cord. In this case, you need to deal with it as soon as possible to avoid fires.
Question three: how to know whether the power strip is aging and needs to be replaced?
Please remember the aging features: the socket is overheating; the power cord is damaged; the socket hole becomes black; the outlets are too loose or too tight; poor contact;
Question four: can high power appliances be charged by the same power strip simultaneously?
The answer is no. If charge too many high power appliances by the same power strip at the same time, it is easy to cause overloading that is a main reason to cause fire. You’d better use a single power strip socket for high appliances like air conditioner and micro oven.
Question five: is there any influence on voltage if a power strip is connected with another one?
There is no damage to the voltage if you connect a power strip with another one, but there is safety hazard. If you use too many high power appliances, the main power supply cord need to bear all the current intensity. A poor power strip has poor power cord and its outlet may be made of aluminum which is easy to become hot under high current, thus leading to fire.
Question six: is it safe to charge cellphones via the USB port of a power strip?
Feel safe to use the USB charging station of power strips to charge your cell phones and other USB devices. In today’s markets, almost all cellphones come with power management chip that can monitor the voltage and current while it is charged. Once over/low voltage or overcurrent occurs, the system can report an error and stop operate automatically. If the voltage and current fluctuate within a standard that cellphones can accept, there is less damage to batteries. Actually, battery capacities can be reduced around one year no matter how you maintain it. It is unstoppable that battery capacities go low, so it is nothing to charge your cellphones with a power strip.
Pay more attention if you have kids at home. You’d better choose a surge protected power strip with lock to avoid electronic shock. Power strips bring much convenience to life but potential hazards still exist. Take care when using a power strip at home and keep all fire risks away from home.