With a countless number of appliances, tools, and toys demanding power at home, power strips have become an inevitable alternative for all your electricity needs. Moreover, homes are designed with a limited number of outlets and using power strips can help you overcome this limitation.

Power strips are one length of a cable having a plug on one end and an electrical receptacle on the other. It is used to expand the number of electrical outlets in your home and use many devices at a time. It is quite similar to extension cord but with only exception of being less long yet more stable. While extension cords have at the most two to three plugs and cannot be relied upon for many days, power strips have quite a lot of plugs and can easily handle longer usage.

You will see power strips coated in plastic-heads and a row of sockets embedded in large plastic boxes accompanied by LED switches to indicate when it is turned on. The latest power strip models have an additional feature of a push-button to trip off the strip when it becomes too hot.

It is important to note that problematic power strips have a high potential to lead to facility damage and in the worst scenarios – electrical shocks and fires as well. Due to that, authorities recommend a surge suppressor along.

Moving further, using a power strip doesn’t seem like rocket science to any person. It is pretty much like plug and play. However, there are few things that not everyone knows about.

  • Power strips can handle small loads only

Power strips work the best for low current devices like radios, computers, printers, etc. You should avoid using it with single major appliances like a space heater or power tool as they are not designed for such a purpose.

  • Power strips can have different voltage ratings

Though power strips work for small loads, there is a specific range that allows them to perform optimally. So, make sure you invest in a power strip that meets your requirements and works in the safe range or else you will end up with damaged appliances and electrical fires.

  • Power strips are not a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure

Think twice before using power strips as workarounds for proper electrical outlets. They don’t have the desired stability and longevity, hence cannot work as a permanent solution. They tend to fail over time and drag all your appliances/devices towards a highly vulnerable zone.

  • Not all power strips offer surge suppression

When using a power strip, you should remember that it is just designed to distribute electricity and cannot regulate its flow or block surges. You will find some power strips incorporated with surge protection but you cannot assume that every power strip will offer you so.

  • Do not plug a power strip into another extension device

Trying to put several power extenders together is never a good idea. It makes the whole system less stable and you can quickly find yourself with blown-out appliances or major electrical damages.