Think Safe on College Campuses
Do you have kids returning-or headed for the first time-to live in a college dorm? While they are learning make sure safety is at the top of the list. College students use many electronics for school, work and play. When used improperly, these helpful gadgets can become electrical hazards. Wood County Electric Cooperative has the following tips for college students to use to help prevent electrical accidents in the dorm:
- A dorm room might not provide enough outlets for all your gadgets to charge simultaneously. If you must use extension cords, make sure to unplug them when not in use. Extension cords are only for temporary use, and overloaded extension cords can start fires.
- Consider purchasing power strips with an over-current protector, which will shut off power automatically if too much current is drawn.
- Use lightbulbs with the correct wattage for lamps. If no indication appears on the fixture, use a bulb that uses no more than 60 watts, or the 9-watt LED equivalent.
- Never tack, nail or staple an electrical cord to any surface, or run cords across traffic paths, or under rugs or furniture.
- Keep all electrical appliances and cords safely away from bedding, curtains and other flammable materials.
- Discard or repair damaged electronics. It might be tempting to save money by using an appliance with a frayed cord or damaged plug. However, they should never be used because they can lead to shock or electrocution.
- If your lights flicker, electronics shut off unexpectedly or circuits trip, notify campus staff immediately.
- Use only laboratory-certified appliances and electronics. Check for tags or packaging for the UL symbol or similar ones.
- Watch out for overheated outlets. If an electrical outlet becomes hot there is potential for a fire. Unplug everything from the outlet and notify your landlord or dorm officials immediately.
- Know what to do if there is a fire, including having an escape plan.
There are more than 3,500 fires on college campuses every year. Help prevent some of them by understanding electrical safety and sharing what you know with loved ones.