Do you keep tripping over an extension cord when you're trying to manoeuvre your way around the living room? You may have made a mental note to do something about this obstacle but may nevertheless have left things to slide. Unfortunately, this is not just a potential hazard but could be a sign of a much bigger problem. What should you be aware of in this situation?
Relying Too Much On Temporary Solutions
Many homeowners across the country have several power extension cords dotted around their homes. They may be used to connect the television, cable box, DVR, surround sound system and other electronic devices to just one or maybe two wall outlets. In the bedroom, they may be used to connect a lamp, charging device, radio or smart speaker to just one wall outlet therein. Certainly, these power strips are handy when the electrical configuration of the home is not designed to cope, but they may nevertheless put some strain on the system and could even represent a fire hazard.
Overloading Your Extension Cords
Few homeowners actually check to see if they are overloading these power strips. They should refer to the power requirements for each device (typically printed on an attached label) and then add those figures up to make sure that the power strip is rated accordingly. In most cases, it probably won't be, and while you may be able to get away with this for some time, it could lead to premature failure. In the worst-case scenario, you may encounter a short circuit and the risk of fire.
Modifying Your Electrical Installation
It's far better to increase the number of wall outlets in the area rather than rely on a power strip ad infinitum. To get this work done, you need to bring in an electrician, and they will have a look at the entire home installation. Sometimes, they may need to add a new circuit or two to balance the power supply. However, they will ensure that you have sufficient outlets in your living room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen to cope with every modern-day electrical device you could imagine.
So, don't curse the physical obstacle caused by a trailing extension cord but take care of the issue at its source. Avoid running into problems in the future, and make sure that your home is a far safer place by calling in an emergency electrician.