If you’re a student who will be moving into a dorm or apartment, keep electrical safety in mind.
Bringing electrical appliances and electronics from home can make your home away from home more comfortable, but check with the building manager to make sure your space can handle the extra electrical load. Be aware of warning signs. If an electrical cord feels hot, if the lights flicker regularly or the circuit breaker trips repeatedly, you may have overloaded the circuit which can cause a fire.
A microwave oven and compact refrigerator are great for preparing meals and storing food, but be sure they are plugged into a grounded outlet. Some items, such as a toaster or hot plate may not be welcome in your dorm. The surface of these items can become hot enough to ignite nearby paper. Check with the facility or building manager before bringing them into the dorm or apartment. Minimize the use of extension cords. Multiple power bars and octopus outlets are an indication that you are probably overloading the electrical system. Avoid using extension cords, but if they are absolutely necessary, be sure they are the appropriate size for the load they will carry.
If you have a roommate, maximize your space and limit your electrical requirements by making a list of necessities and avoid duplicating items. For example, one person can bring the sound system and the other can supply the television.
It’s a smart idea to keep a fire extinguisher in plain view near the door. Read the instructions and make sure you know how to use it in the event of an emergency.
Make sure you and your roommate can hear all building alarms such as the fire alarm, the carbon monoxide detector and the security alarm when you are in your room.
Enjoy your experience in the dorm or apartment and make it a safe one.