There are some items that we use around the home on a daily basis and we don’t really give it much thought. These can also be items that need to be considered carefully, because they are nothing short of a death trap.

One of the items that we need to be particularly careful of is power strips. Although they are convenient, they carry a number of risks and if they are overloaded, they can fail and even catch on fire.

Before you begin plugging everything into a power strip, you need to consider the amount of power they can support. This is listed on the power cable. There are also certain things that should never be plugged into the power strip or you could end up in serious trouble.

If you check your power strips and find that they are overloaded, you should unplug everything from them and carefully consider everything that goes into the plugs. You should also avoid plugging any of the following into a power strip at any time.

1. The oven: Even though the oven is not used continually, it is a power-hungry appliance that should not be plugged into a power strip. In fact, it should be plugged into its own wall outlet on its own circuit.

2. Refrigerator: Again, the refrigerator is a very power-hungry appliance and even if you have an energy-efficient refrigerator, it is still going to pull too much energy to be plugged into a power strip.

It is best if you plug the refrigerator into its own outlet that is on its own circuit breaker.

3. Washing Machine: Did you realize that the washing machine pulls a lot of power? It is also something that should not share a receptacle with any other appliance.

A washing machine should always be plugged directly into the receptacle and if at all possible, it should be on its own circuit.

4. Heating: There are many times when you may want to have some form of auxiliary heating. It has its own risks, but it can be used safely if you plug it into its own receptacle. Be cautious that you don’t overload the circuit and never plug it into a power strip.

5. Microwave: Even though the microwave is not used frequently, it consumes a lot of energy. Most microwave ovens are plugged into their own receptacle and that is always a good practice.

6. Coffee Maker: Most people don’t realize just how much power the coffee maker uses. It consumes a lot of energy so it should never be plugged into any sort of power strip or extension cord.

7. Toaster: When the toaster is in use, it can pull a lot of energy. Even though you are only using it to brown up some bread or bagels, it should be plugged directly into the receptacle rather than a power strip.

8. Another Power Strip: When it comes to bad electrical practices, stacking power strips is near the top of the list. You may have a lot of items to plug into a single area but plugging the power strip into a power strip is just asking for trouble. Many fires are started because of this mistake.

9. Electronics (Computer, TV, Router): Any sort of electronic device should not be plugged into the power strip. Although the TV and computer don’t necessarily use a lot of power on their own, they are sensitive to surges and you can find yourself with a burnt out computer or TV very quickly.

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