Learn Electrical Safety 101
Springfield, Ill., Aug. 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Millions of college students have survived move-in day on campuses across the country. While this is an exciting time for undergrads everywhere, it can be a nerve-racking time for parents. Safe Electricity reminds parents and students to keep electrical safety in mind.
When planning to move into a shared space like a dorm or university housing, Bob Wilczynski, assistant director of housing at the University of Illinois, has a few insights. Watch the number of appliances and electronics used per room or apartment. “Oftentimes rooms end up with multiple refrigerators and microwaves, which can lead to a circuit overload in a small space.”
Wilczynski adds that you should check with your university’s housing department on their specific housing regulations. Many colleges across the U.S. ban cooking appliances from on-campus housing, including hot plates, coffee makers and microwaves. Many of these institutions provide a designated area for the use of these products.
Safe Electricity recommends students follow these tips:
- Don’t overload outlets, extension cords, or power strips.
- Use power strips with over-current protectors. This will shut off the power if there is too much being drawn.
- Only purchase and use electrical products tested for safety. Some common approved safety labels include UL, CSA, and MET.
- Keep all electrical appliances and cords safely away from bedding, curtains, paper, and other flammable materials.
- Make sure outlets around sinks are equipped with ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) before use. If they are not, contact the resident assistant, camping housing staff, or landlord.
- Unplug small appliances when not in use and all electronics when away for extended periods.
- Always use microwave-safe containers. Glass, ceramic containers, and plastics labeled “microwave-safe” can be safely used. Never use metal or aluminum foil, which can damage the microwave or start a fire. Do not use a microwave that’s been damaged in any way.
- Never disable a smoke detector and never ignore a fire alarm or assume it is a drill. Every time a fire alarm sounds, residents should calmly and quickly follow practiced procedures and immediately exit the building.
For more information on dorm safety, visit SafeElectricity.org.
CONTACT: Ann Augspurger Energy Education Council - Safe Electricity 217-679-3200 [email protected]