Christmas shopping safety tips for new devices

If your vacation wish list includes a new television, computer, washer or dryer, or game console – write it down. Safety may not be high on your list, but it is the first thing to think about when purchasing these items.

Protecting your high quality electronics is very important and should definitely be considered when making a large purchase. The safe operation of these items protects your equipment and your home as well.

Here are the top electrical safety tips to keep in mind:

Disconnect your electrical devices by grasping the plug firmly instead of pulling on the cord.

Check whether your electrical items are certified by a nationally recognized test laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

Never remove the third prong on an electrical appliance so that a three-prong plug fits into a two-prong outlet.

Make sure the cables are kept out of the reach of children and pets.

To keep your devices and cables in good condition, regularly check them for damage. You should repair or dispose of damaged equipment.

Keep liquids away from your electrical appliances as spilled liquids can cause dangerous shock or fire.

If you receive an electric shock from a large device or electrical device, stop using it immediately and call an electrician to have it checked.

If any device emits smoke or sparks, or if you experience a tingling sensation or a light tap when you turn it on, stop using it. Discard and replace it or have it repaired by an authorized service provider.

Correct arrangement with furniture:

If necessary, rearrange your furniture so that there are enough sockets for your new devices – without any extension cords.

Do not place power cords or extension cords under carpets, rugs, furniture, or in high traffic areas.

You should never nail or pin the power cords or extension cords to the wall or baseboard.

When deciding where to locate your new electrical appliances, make sure that entertainment centers and computer workstations have adequate space for ventilation.

When not in use, be sure to unplug it to save energy and reduce the risk of electric shock or fire. A power strip or surge protector can help turn devices off when they’re not in use.

How to protect devices from surges:

Overvoltages occur suddenly and the rise in voltage can damage or destroy your electronics. Surge protection protects your devices from accidental power peaks. The standard voltage for most US households is around 120 volts, and if the voltage increases above it, surge protectors come in handy. Consider plugging your computer, television, stereo, game consoles, and other electronic devices into a surge protector.

When to use extension cords:

Please remember that extension cords are intended as a temporary solution to connecting your electronic device and should not be used as a long term or permanent circuit. Do not overload your extension cord by using it to power devices beyond its capacity. If you want to connect multiple devices to one cable, add their wattages to ensure that the total power does not exceed the cable’s rating.

Do you know the difference between a surge protector and a power strip?

Surge protectors and power strips look similar, but they have important differences. A surge protector conducts or suppresses additional voltage caused by surges and protects your devices by protecting your electronics from voltage spikes. A socket strip only offers sockets for one circuit and does not prevent damage from current peaks.

Submitted by SCE

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