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Campus Electrical Safety | Print |  Email
Library of Articles - College Student Safety

Teach Students about Electrical Safety Before They Head to College

  Today’s college student uses many electronics for school, work and play. When used improperly, these helpful gadgets can become electric hazards. If you or a loved one is heading off to college, Safe Electricity has the following tips to pass on to prevent electric accidents.

  • Extension cords are only for temporary use. Overloaded extension cords start fires. Dorms may not have enough outlets to plug in all your gadgets at once. Plug electronics into extension cords when you use them, and then unplug them.
  • Consider purchasing power strips with an over-current protector, which will shut off power automatically if there is too much current being drawn.
  • Use light bulbs with the correct wattage for lamps; if no indication is on the fixture, do not use a bulb with more than 60 watts.
  • Never tack or nail an electrical cord to any surface, or run cords across traffic paths, under rugs or furniture. 
  • Keep all electrical appliances and cords safely away from bedding, curtains and other flammable material. 
  • Discard or repair damaged electronics. It may be tempting to use an electronic with a frayed cord or damaged plug-in to save money. However, damaged electronics should not be used since they can shock or electrocute students.
  • If your lights flicker, electronics shut off, or circuits trip—notify campus staff.
  • Use only laboratory certified appliances and electronics.
  • Watch out for outlets that get too hot to touch.  If an electrical outlet becomes so hot you cannot leave your hand on it, there is potential for a fire.  Unplug everything from the outlet and notify landlord or dorm officials immediately.

There are more than 3,500 fires on college campuses every year. Help prevent some of these fires by understanding electrical safety and sharing what you know with loved ones.

College students should also know what to do if there is a fire, including escape and meeting plans.