(KHNL) - According to FEMA electrical fires kill almost 500 people and injure over 2,000 more. Most are caused by poor maintenance of electrical appliances, incorrectly installed wiring, overloaded circuits and extension cords. The holiday season is quickly approaching when we all start to decorate and use our electronics more heavily. In fact, I have already seen Halloween decorations in many neighborhoods. This is a very relevant topic as December is the most dangerous month for electrical fires.
I have made 3 quick tips that you can try that could protect your precious electronics and perhaps even your life.
1) Don't Daisy Chain Power strips
This is more common than you think. Daisy chaining power strips is when you plug one power strip into the other. I'm not sure why but most people feel comfortable doing this but it is a bad practice. Daisy chaining results in a spread of the potential surge overload across both strips evenly. Where an overload of X size would trip one power strip, when two are connected 2X the overload is required to cause a trip to occur and so on. In short this practice puts everything you plug into the power strips at risk. It's just not worth it when a good quality extension cord can solve the problem.
2) UPS for Desktop Computer
Power surges and brown conditions can burn out computer power supplies and even cook the computer all together. At minimum a new computer power supply is around $100 to replace and if your computer gets fried, well then there's not much that can be done. Unfortunately we do sometimes have inconsistent power conditions here on Oahu. So, I do recommend a UPS for every desktop computer, especially if you're using them for business. They keep the power level constant during fluctuating power conditions and give time to save your work and shut down the machine in the event of a complete power outage.
3) Voltage Regulator for your Fancy TV
That pricey Plasma, LCD or LED HDTV won't last long with fluctuating power conditions. The amount of power used by these electronic devices is much more than a computer, so naturally they need something better than a UPS. A voltage regulator solves this problem by cleaning and normalizing the power being fed to the television. It can give your TV many years of extra service and prevent it from being damaged by power problems.