How many appliances do you have plugged into the power strip in your TV room?
Take note: Each of those electronics uses a lot of electricity, so if you power up all of them at once, you could be overloading an electrical circuit. That’s because even though each plug goes into a separate socket on the power strip, the power strip itself is plugged into a single outlet.
And if you have plugged a power strip into another one to increase the number of appliances you can power from that single outlet, you could be setting yourself up for trouble.
At a minimum, you could trip the circuit connected to that single outlet. Worst case, you could start a fire by overloading that circuit.
If your circuits are overloaded, it’s time to call a licensed electrician to upgrade the home’s electrical system so it can keep up with the demands new technology places on it.
Here’s how to tell if your home’s circuits are overloaded, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International:
- Lights are flickering, blinking or dimming.
- Electrical receptacles on the walls are warm to the touch or have become discolored.
- You smell a burning odor coming from receptacles or wall switches.
- Circuits trip on a regular basis.
Here are some guidelines that could help you avoid overloading your circuits:
- Do not plug large appliances into extension cords or power strips. They need an outlet all to themselves.
- Get rid of extension cords. They’re meant for temporary use—not permanent. Don’t rig your year-round devices, like lamps or TVs, up to extension cords.
- Notice how many extension cords you use. If it’s a lot, that could signal that you don’t have enough outlets. An electrician can add more.