Cold weather brings about the need to stay warm, and this is when most people opt for space heaters. These appliances can help to keep your space warm and provide you with the best convenience. However, as much as there is a need to stay warm, the last thing you should do is plug your space into a power strip.
This is mainly because power strips and extension cords are not well equipped to handle the extra current flow needed to power a space heater. Therefore, a power strip can overheat and even result in a fire.
Reason Why You Should Never Plug Your Space Heater Into a Power Strip
A rule of thumb is always to avoid plugging your space heater into a power strip, regardless of the number of gadgets you have vying for electricity. Space heaters must be plugged into wall outlets since they can handle high wattage. A space heater should also be the only item plugged into a wall outlet. This will help to prevent the heater from overheating and resulting in a fire.
Another reason is that space heaters require close monitoring. According to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report, over 25,000 home fires are traced back to space heaters. You should also ensure that your space heater model has the latest safety features and the right ideal for the room you want to heat.
Always ensure that your space heater is kept at ground level and away from combustible objects such as furniture. The Electric Safety Foundation International also advises against plugging your space heater into a power strip, as it can be dangerous when the extension cord overheats.
Space Heater Power Strip Myths – What Are Some of the Myths and What’s the Truth?
There are no space heater power strip myths. The fact is that plugging your space heater into a power strip is dangerous. The fact that space heaters are small doesn’t mean they can’t cause massive damages. Some people don’t think it’s dangerous for power space heaters to be plugged into power strips.
Unless you’re using a space heater that automatically shuts off when it senses the wrong temperature, you should always ensure that you keep a close eye on it when it’s running. This is also another myth that doesn’t involve power strips but one that people believe you don’t need to be always there when using a space heater.
Unfortunately, you can’t just leave your space heater running and doze off or leave the room where it’s running. You always have to be there and check it often to prevent fire outbreaks and other dangers. Even the American Red Cross advises against misusing your space heater and tells people to buy a heater with an auto shut-off feature. You should also always read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels.
Tips for Using a Space Heater with a Power Strip – If It Has to Happen
Although it’s not recommended to plug your space heater into a power strip if it has to happen, there are several safety measures and tips that you can use to prevent any potential risks. However, before we get into that, here are safety tips you need to know first.
- Personal heaters usually are discouraged and are only supposed to be used if necessary.
- Use a heater with a thermostat, overheat protection, and auto shut-off to turn it off if it tips over.
- Always ensure that the heater is placed on a solid and flat surface.
- Keep space heaters away from traffic and any exits.
- A space heater should only be plugged into a wall outlet and not an extension cord.
- Space heaters should be turned off or unplugged when you go to sleep or leave the room.
So, now that you have all the recommended safety measures, if you still need to use a space heater with a power strip, here are some tips that will help you do that safely and conveniently.
- You should not use electrical cords for permanent electrical wiring. If you need an extension cord for temporary use, ensure you use a cord with built-in surge arresters. Also, avoid plugging the cord into another extension cord for safety purposes.
- You should not leave electrical cords lying across walkways, as this may create trip hazards.
- Electrical cords cannot have grounds broken off or have deteriorated insulation.
- Avoid connecting daisy chain power strips and extension cords together and don’t daisy chain two power strips together or two extension cords together.
- Connect only one power strip per electrical socket.
- Ensure that you don’t overload electrical outlets to avoid overheating and fire eruption. If you have more appliances that need to be connected, you can request an additional outlet or find another way to avoid overloading.
How to Tell Whether Your Power Strip Is Safe
When using a power strip, you have to ensure that it’s safe. This will be beneficial not only for you but also for the entire home. Electrical appliances are prone to risks such as overheating and fires. Therefore, you need to ensure that what you use is safe and offers the best convenience whenever you want to use it.
Below are some of the things you can check to ensure your power strip is safe.
The Maximum Power Amp Rating
This rating dictates the maximum amount of electric current you can draw safely through the power strip. That means the number of electronic devices that you can plug into your power strip safely. Aim for an amp rating of 15A and above to be on the safe side because this will allow you to plug several devices into it without any issues.
Ensure the Power Strip Includes Surge Protection
Unfortunately, only a few power strips have built-in surge protection. That means to ensure safety, you need to look for one that has this feature. Power surges measure the unit of energy called joules.
Therefore, the higher the number, the more protection you will get from the power surge protector. I would recommend looking for one that has a minimum of 700 joules of protection.
The Number of Outlets Required
You also need to check the number of outlets that are required. The main benefit of power strips is organization. The ideal number of outlets ranges from 3 to 12. However, it’s not advised to use all of these outlets at the same time, regardless of how many they may be since it can be dangerous.
Check the Warranty
Another way to ensure that your power strip is safe is to check the warranty. Most manufacturers provide a warranty. However, you have to ensure the company’s warranty is reliable before buying the product to avoid regrets.
A warranty also shows you the confidence a manufacturer has in their product. Therefore, you can use it to gauge the quality and safety of the power strip.
A space heater should be plugged properly and well maintained if you want to avoid hazards and other potential risks. Therefore, strive to follow the right tips such as those I’ve shared here for the best safety and experience.
If you have any questions or feedback regarding this post, you can write them in the comments section below or reach out to me through email.