- Sam Palmer
December Safety Meetings
I will keep it short this month and briefly discuss what no one wants to admit. You have done this before for your Christmas lights haven’t you? If you haven’t, you’re better than me and if you haven’t for your Christmas lights, have you done this at work since there was only one plug available? Now, I am not saying that every year my house looks like the Griswold’s, but I have been known to do a few sketchy things from time to time in the past with my plug-ins to get everything lit up. It’s not uncommon for households to do this and even workplaces. Sometimes you need more than two plugs in one area so why would they make these power strips and 6 way plugs if they were dangerous right??? Well, without boring you too much with the electrical details, these are made for lower demand items and it says so on the packaging or label. It tells you the rating, it’s not a suggestion, it is a maximum rating for that device. If you go plugging a hair dryer, a coffee pot, and a vacuum into the same circuit, it is going to trip the breaker. However, if you have multiple phone chargers plugged into a power strip it operates just fine. The difference? The draw. If you have numerous medium draw plugs into one outlet and they aren’t enough to trip the breaker but enough to heat up the outlet, cords, or devices plugged into them, you may have a problem brewing. The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) cites that between 2012 and 2016, there were 800 fires per year due to Christmas decorations alone and over 14,000 a year for all electrical related fires. Don’t be one of those 800 this year that burns their house down to rival Clark in his magnificent display or one of those 14,000 that have an electrical related fire. If you have any outlets that look like this at home or at work, please take a moment this month to fix it. I once read that electricity is the power of the gods and only electricians are trained to harness and control the power of the gods. That put it in perspective enough for me to swear off of doing anything with live electric and to follow the manufacturer’s rating/recommendations from that point forward because they understand how to properly harness and control Zeus’s thunderbolt and I do not. May you all have a happy and safe holiday season free of any electrical or other mishaps.