F.H. Furr Tips and Advice
Before summer ends and your college student heads off to take Engineering, English Lit and Economics, be sure your student is well versed in the basics of Electrical Safety. Firefighters respond to an average of nearly 4,000 fires at college dorms and Greek housing each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Be the overprotective parent as they leave for school-and ensure the safety of your college bound student. Whether it be a dorm room or off-campus housing, using electrical devices and electricity properly is an important life lesson.
Here are eight basic tips for students, according to the Energy Education Council (safeelectricity.org) and the Electrical Safety Foundation International (www.esfi.org):
- Tablets, computers, microwaves and fans all need to be plugged in, but most older dorm rooms don’t have enough electrical outlets to utilize them all at the same time. If they use extension cords or power strips to supplement the quantity and/or location of the outlet, remember to unplug them when they are not in use.
- Utilize power strips with a built in surge protector to prevent possible damage to electronics and computers.
- Don’t nail or tack an electrical cord to any surface and never run cords under rugs.
- If an electrical outlet feels hot to the touch, unplug everything from the outlet and notify a landlord or dorm authority.
- Keep all electrical appliances away from bedding or curtains. Never throw fabric over a lamp to change the mood lighting.
- Don’t remove the ground pin (the third prong) to make a three-prong plug fit a two-prong outlet.
- Use light bulbs with the correct wattage for the lamp.
- Circuit breakers that frequently trip or fuses that need replacement are an indication of a possible electrical overload/hazard.
If circuits are tripping, or anything electrical feels hot to the touch, encourage your student to call the housing authority immediately. If you need any additional outlets, fans, or lighting installed in off campus housing, be sure to call a professional. We all need fewer reasons to worry while your child is away at school!