Five tips to keep appliances safe from electrical mishaps

To keep from blowing out your gaming consoles or frying your electronics, here are five tips to keeping you and your devices safe from electrical mishaps, overuse, burnout and power surges.

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In contemporary society, electricity powers a good portion of our devices in and outside of our homes. But with an increase in electrical consumption, there is a tendency to become reckless with our electricity sets. To keep from blowing out your gaming consoles or frying your electronics, here are five tips to keeping you and your devices safe from electrical mishaps, overuse, burnout and power surges.

1.Unplug and turn off

As basic as it may seem, simply unplugging and turning off most things with a motor inside can keep them lasting longer. Computers, gaming consoles, older machines, older printers and lamps can run the risk of failure when left on and running for long periods of time. These objects tend to heat up continually as they draw in electricity to power themselves. It also protects them from electric surges in the absence or failure of surge protectors.

2. Surge protectors are not optional

Surge protectors do exactly as they are named- they protect from electrical surges. A power surge is an incident in which an abnormally high voltage runs from an outlet and into your machine. Certain machines are not meant to receive over a specific voltage and will short circuit and burn out if that limit is exceeded. Surge protectors modify and modulate that voltage to keep it at a consistent output no matter the input.

3. Isolate sockets from outside hazards

Isolating wall sockets, power strips and surge protectors are basic tenets of electrical safety but have devastating consequences when not followed. Often when rearranging bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens and study spaces, we can forget the little guys who power our lifestyle. Making sure your drinks stay far from sockets and your power strips do not go below a sink or running water may seem simple, but it can prevent a small mistake from escalating.

4. Never use frayed cords

Frayed cords are a disaster waiting to happen. Electricity almost always cannot be transferred unless direct contact is made with an object. The protective rubber casing of wires prevents undesired contact of the open electrical cord to any flammable or conductive substance. Using frayed or open-cased cords puts your carpets, electronics and yourself at risk of electrical shocks and fires.

5. Do not overload sockets

Putting too many items into one socket comes with the risk of shorting the socket out, causing electrical damage and overheating. This creates a potential fire hazard. Instead, spread your electrical usage around the room or at the very least, different sockets. If your computer cord or your fan cord cannot reach the socket or the surge protector, try rearranging your items instead of looking for an easy fix.

Edited by Alexandra Sharp | asharp@themaneater.com

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