It's something many of us take for granted, and few think about on a daily basis, but we rely on it every moment we spend in our homes; Safety.

May is "Building Safety Month" which, according to the International Code Council sets out to remind people the importance of having a home that is up to code.

"Building Safety Month is an international campaign that takes place in May to raise awareness about building safety. This campaign reinforces the need for the adoption of modern, regularly-updated building codes, and helps individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures."

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This year's theme is "Prevent. Prepare. Protect. Building Codes Save Lives." And in keeping with that theme, the City of Bangor's Code Enforcement Department has released some safety tips on the City's Facebook Page. The most recent tips deal specifically with electrical outlet safety-knowing many folks may not realize the dangers an overloaded outlet or extension cord may pose.

"Overloaded receptacle outlets and undersized electrical extension cords can cause a fire or electrocution danger. Please take proper safety precautions and use an extension cord that is appropriate for the setting in which it is needed."

Here are some things you may want to keep in mind when it comes to electrical outlets and extension cords:

*Careful Not To Overload Your Cords/Strips

Every electrical cord or power strip has a certain load of electricity it's designed to handle. Some have less and some have more. It's important to check to see what that load is and then make sure whatever you have plugged into it doesn't exceed that limit. Don't just think because you plug it in to the wall and it has 10 outlets, that you could safety plug 10 refrigerators into it. That's not the best idea.

*Get Cords that have overload protection and that have been tested. 

Getting something that's been tested by a product safety lab is always a good idea. It's an extra safety step that's been taken before you even get the items back to your home/structures.

*Throw Away Your Damaged Cords

You should never plug in a cord that is damaged or frayed. That's just asking for trouble. Whether it be an extension cord, a power strip, even phone charges! If it's been damages, toss it out. Buying a new cord is way less expensive than replacing a wall, a home or God forbid, losing a life.

If you want a some more information, here are a couple of great extension cord/power strip safety videos.

TIPS: Here's how you can prepare for power outages

 

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