Prevention is Key When It Comes To Overloaded Sockets
As the holidays approach, you are probably ready to plug in the Christmas tree and all of the other gadgets and gizmos that go along with it too, right? While you may be grabbing for the extension cords and mapping out where everything will plug in, you need to keep in mind that you can overload your electrical socket and start a fire.
Many homeowners get into the holiday spirit and they forget how easy it is to plug nine wires into one socket.
What is an Overloaded Socket?
An overloaded socket is one that has too many items plugged into it that require electricity. Your home’s first defense against an overloaded socket is to trip the fuse, turning the power off to that section of the home.
It is important that you do not rely solely on the fuse tripping to turn the power off because, sometimes, it may be too late and a fire can start.
How to Prevent an Overload
You can prevent overloading your sockets by knowing how much power is required to run certain items that you want to plug in. There are a number of calculators that can help you determine how many watts or amps that an item needs.
One of the first ways you can prevent a socket overload is by only plugging one plug into the socket at a time. When you need to plug additional items into the socket, make sure that you have enough watts and amps to do so.
Next, you should never plug extension cords into extension cords and only use them as intended. Often, homeowners will try to make the most of their sockets by plugging multiple power strips and extension cords into the socket. This only creates a hazard and places your home at risk of a fire.
Lastly, if you notice any discoloring or black marks around your socket or plug, avoid using that socket and call an electrician immediately. This is often one of the signs that there has been an overload. The blackening on the socket can also indicate trouble with the wiring.
Electrical Fire Statistics
According to the National Fire Protection Association, 47,700 homes had structure fires in 2011. These fires were related to electrical malfunctions or failures. 418 people died as a result of the fires and over one billion dollars in damage was reported.
If you plan on decorating for the holidays, be sure to have an electrician check out your home for any wiring problems and always make sure to avoid overloading your sockets.