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Electrical safety for dorm life

August 24, 2021 | Laura King-Homan | safety, tips
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College students are returning to campus – with their computers, headphones, gaming systems and other electronics in tow.

Before you say goodbye, make sure your student knows these simple electricity safety tips for living in a dorm. A quick brush-up on some tips could prevent an accident or fire caused by an improperly used gadget. Every year, there are more than 3,500 fires on college campuses. Do your part to prevent them by understanding electrical safety.

The following tips from the Safe Electricity website are good reminders for people of all ages.

  • Extension cords: They are a necessity in a dorm room, especially in older buildings. Be sure to unplug them when not in use.
  • Power strips: Another must-have for dorms. Consider buying power strips with an over-current protector. This will shut off power to the strip automatically if there is too much current being drawn.
  • Lighting: Use light bulbs that are the correct wattage for the lamp. If you do not know what wattage to use, stay with a bulb with less then 60 watts. If your lights flicker or electronics shut off, notify your facility’s maintenance staff.
  • Cords: Never tack or nail an electrical cord or run a cord across high-traffic paths or under rugs. Keep all of your appliances and cords safely away from bedding, curtains and other flammable materials.
  • Outlets: Watch out for outlets that may overheat. If an outlet becomes so hot you cannot rest your hand on it, there is a potential for fire. Unplug everything and notify your landlord or university facility maintenance immediately.
  • Fire: Before you leave your student at school, review what to do in case of a fire, including identifying fire exits and escape routes on their floor or in their building.
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About Laura King-Homan

Laura King-Homan is the supervisor, Brand and Communication Operations, at Omaha Public Power District. She has nearly 20 years of print journalism and design experience, including the Omaha World-Herald.

View all posts by Laura King-Homan >

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