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Tips for Safely Using Power Strips with Home Electronics

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If you just purchased an entire home theater system or another large electronics system, then you will need a lot of outlets to plug in all of its various components. The safest way to accomplish this is with the use of a power strip.

If you have never worked with power strips before, then these tips are for you:

Tip: Never Daisy-Chain Power Strips Together

If you need more than one power strip to set up all of your electronic equipment, then you need to have an electrician pull more wires and install another outlet where you need it. While you may be tempted to plug one strip into another, known as daisy-chaining, this is never safe and should never be done.

Tip: Don't Plug in Two Power Strips to a Dual Outlet

If your home's wall outlets have an upper and lower outlet, you can only safely plug a power strip into one of them at a time. Plugging two power strips into a dual outlet can easily overload an electrical circuit and flip a breaker in the main power panel. 

Tip: Install Power Strips in Safe Locations

Power strips used with electronics need to be installed in safe locations. They need adequate air circulation around them to keep cool and should not be installed under desks, in cupboards, or on shag carpet. Set the power strips for your electronics on an open shelf or on a bare floor.

Tip: Never Use a Prong Adaptor with a Power Strip

While you can purchase adaptors to change a three-prong plug into a two-prong one to plug into older-style wall outlets, you should never use one of these adapters with a power strip. Electronic power strips need proper grounding, and prong adaptors interfere with it.

Tip: Regularly Inspect Each Power Strip and Replace Them When Necessary

It's important you don't install your electronic power strips and then forget about them. Since power strips can lead to a home fire if they are defective or become damaged, you need to take the time to check each one every so often. Look for signs of physical damage such as frayed wires or dark discolorations around the plug holes. If you see either of these things, then discontinue using the power strip immediately. Finally, feel the power strip with your hand while it's in use, and if it ever feels hot then it isn't working correctly and requires replacement.

Look into the different kinds of power strip you can buy, such as Americord power cords.