Firefighters Want Everyone To Know What They Should Never Plug Into A Power Strip

As most of the northern hemisphere moves into its coldest months of the year, heating systems are being turned on and in many cases space heaters are being pulled out of storage. According to firefighters, these are items that you should never plug into a power strip. 


1. Keep all heat-producing appliances unplugged when not in use.

This includes:

  • Hairstyling tools
  • Kettles
  • Heaters

Essentially, anything that produces heat when turned on that can overheat and catch fire if left on too long or can turn on in the event of a malfunction or electrical surge. (4)

2. Extension Cords for temporary use only.

Do not use extension cords 24/7, they are meant only for temporary use. Contact an electrician to install additional outlets if you require them. (4)

3. Keep the third prong.

The third prong on a power cord is there to protect against power surges and malfunctions. Consider updating two-pronged outlets in your home. (4)

4. Update your electrical system.

If you live in an old home, chances are that home has an old electrical system. Contact an electrician to have it evaluated and consider upgrading. Older, less advanced systems are more likely to overheat and cause fires. (4)

5. Don’t use damaged power cords.

If the power cord is damaged in any way – frayed, a broken prong, loose from its plug, or cracked, don’t use it. (4)

6. Follow appliance directions.

Directions aren’t just there for optimal product use, they are there to keep you safe. Appliances always come with a manual that will include a section on fire safety as well as information on where to be notified of recalls. (4)

7. Don’t ignore trouble signs.

There are several signs that either your appliance may be overheating or that there is something wrong with the socket it is plugged into. These include (4):

  • Burn marks or discoloration around a socket or light fixture
  • The appliance, power cord, or outlet is hot to the touch
  • Burning smell while the appliance is in use
  • Electrical sparks or shock every time the appliance is plugged in
  • Flickering light even after the bulb is replaced
  • A frequently tripping breaker or fuse

Lastly, make sure that you have smoke detectors in every room and that they are functioning properly. This way if something does go wrong, you will be notified and be able to get to safety. 

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