Back-to-School Dorm Safety

Back-to-school season is here and if you have kids going off to college there are several preparations to consider for the start of the school year. Before decorating the dorm or apartment, it’s important to practice electrical safety to make sure your kids have a safe semester.

Follow these five electrical safety tips to ensure the dorm or apartment is ready for your student:

  1. Don’t overload extension cords, power strips or outlets—Overloading cords or outlets could cause them to overheat and cause a fire hazard. Use an overload calculator to check if you’re exceeding the maximum load. You can find one here.
  2. Use power strips with over-current protectors—protectors shut off power automatically if there is too much current being drawn.
  3. Extension cords are for temporary situations only. Extension cords should not be used as a long-term solution when you need another outlet.
  4. Never remove a ground pin. If you remove the pin in order to plug a three pronged plug into a wall outlet, you’re removing the protection meant to keep you safe and can expose you to a tremendous shock hazard.
  5. Make sure halogen lamps meet updated requirements. All halogen lamps must be designed with a mesh guard that forbids contact with the bulb and an automatic tip-over switch.