Seattle Commercial & Industrial Electrical Contractor
4826 B Street NW Suite 101 Auburn, WA 98001
Mon-Fri: 7AM- 4PM
05 Apr 2018
power strip

Discover the Correct Way to Use a Power Strip

Nowadays, current home devices require some source of power. Having power strips and extension cords are beneficial because a home only has a certain amount of outlets. It is important to understand that incorrectly utilizing a power strip can potentially cause electrical damage to the strip itself and plugged in home devices. Read on to discover the safest and correct way to use a power strip.

Power Strip vs Extension Cord

First, there is a difference between a power strip and an extension cord. A power strip is a single length of a cable, which features a plug on one end and a line of sockets inserted in a plastic box on the other end. Extension cords are relatively similar, but are considerably longer and include only two to three plugs. It is important to note that extension cords are less stable and used for hours on end. On the other hand, a power strip can be used over a period of a few days.

Important Information to Know

Power strips are evidently easy to use (plug and use), but here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • They are intended to handle small loads: a power strip allows one to use many devices all at the same time. However, they are not intended to power large or major home appliances such as a space heater or oven.
  • Pay attention to different voltage ratings: when selecting a power strip, find one that fulfills your voltage needs. If not, exceeding the maximum voltage on a strip can cause electrical fires and malfunctioning appliances.
  • Be mindful about avoiding extended use: although power strips have the capacity to power devices for a few days and potentially up to two weeks, they are not a proper replacement for electrical outlets. Likewise, overuse will cause the power strip to fail and defect plugged in devices.
  • Surge protection device: Make sure a power strip includes a surge protection device, which can be discovered on the box and by a small light or switch indicator. It protects the equipment if a short or surge happens.
  • Do not plug them into another power extension: If you plug in power strips or extensions into one another, the power becomes weaker and less stable. Worst of all, it can result to device damage and cause an electrical fire.

Overall, power strips and extension cords are excellent for powering up a home with multiple devices at the same time. Equally important, it is imperative to pay attention to voltage ratings, length of use, and being proactive. Correctly using a power strip means a safer home!

Kirby Electric is a Premier Electrical Contractor Serving the Greater Seattle Area

As Seattle’s premier electric company, Kirby Electric specializes in commercial and industrial lighting. We provide top electrical services that best fit your building’s needs and present energy management solutions. Such solutions provide economically and environmentally beneficial services. Contact us today and request a quote at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

13 Jul 2017
electrical hazards

4 Common Electrical Hazards in the Workplace

Electrical safety is imperative to a safe work environment. Reports show that about 1,000 electrical related accidents occur a year in the workplace, which leads to about 30 recorded fatalities. Legally, employers must provide a safe work environment for their employees. Here at Kirby Electric, we promote electrical safety in commercial buildings. Therefore, we have comprised a list of the four most common electrical hazards that can occur in the workplace and how to prevent them.

Faulty or Damaged Wiring

Any wires or cables that are not functioning properly should be removed immediately as they pose a serious electrical hazard. Electrical cables that are frayed, loose, or have exposed wires need to be attended to and replaced. Damaged wires and cables can cause electric shocks and fires.

To prevent this, make sure to schedule regular check-ups for your electrical wiring. We can assist you in the design and construction of your electrical system.

Equipment Safety

Regardless of the type of electrical equipment, they can pose as dangerous electrical hazards if not used properly. Exposure to equipment that is live but presumed dead can cause severe injuries. Shocks from electrical equipment can also lead to falls from scaffolds, ladders, or other suspended platforms.

This is why it is imperative to practice equipment safety protocols when using electrical instruments. Having routine safety seminars and other educational sessions can help inform both employees and employers on safe electrical handling. Checking equipment properly before use is also a way to ensure that equipment is safe.

Overused Outlets

Outlets can only handle so much strain before it becomes a serious shock and fire hazard. Overusing the outlet can lead to overheating or a power shortage. This is a severe misuse of the outlet and should be handled immediately. If the outlet is posing as a threat, do not try and handle it yourself. We can help with any electrical concerns that you may have.


When electricity or electrical outlets are exposed to water, there is a greatly increased risk of shock. Make sure at all times that electric equipment is kept away from any source of water. This includes making sure that all hands are dry when dealing with electrical equipment to prevent life-threatening shocks or burns.

Maintenance and Safety Checks with Kirby Electric

Preventative measures should be taken in order to provide a safe work environment for everyone. At Kirby Electric, we have a variety of services that can assist all of your electrical needs. Our inspection services can help you should any electrical concerns arise. Our preventative maintenance services is a proactive step in keeping your building safe. Plus, our emergency service repair hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is our job to immediately help solve your problem, so you can get back to doing yours.

Kirby Electric Prevents Electrical Hazards

Kirby Electric, Inc. offers premier electrical services for both commercial and industrial contracting. Our dedicated team can help manage your facilities and present energy management solutions. Contact us today and request a quote by phone at (253) 859-2000 or online here to learn more about our services.

09 Jan 2015

5 Power Outage Preparedness Tips

Pouring glass of bottled water
Bottled water can be a safe alternative to tap during power outages

Even one localized power outage can make work and home life uncomfortable and even unsafe. Prepare with these tips from the CDC to ensure safety during the next Washington power outage.

1. Stay Warm

Avoid hypothermia with blankets and layered clothes like jackets, shirts, and sweaters. Top outfits off with a hat (close-fitting stocking caps can be especially insulating against cold). Gloves, scarves, and legwarmers can also aid in maintaining body heat. Exercise is another great way to naturally warm up. If a full workout isn’t possible, even walking around indoors can help.

2. Keep Food Cold

Food in the refrigerator and freezer can be safely eaten if the outage lasts under four hours, the CDC advises. If outages are longer, avoid eating anything spoiled by putting a food thermometer in dishes or fixings before you use them, tossing anything that registers warmer than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Avoid Tap Water

Treated, boiled, or bottled water can be safer than tap if an electricity outage affects the purification process. Tip: bottled water is a great emergency kit component, but don’t forget to check the expiration dates periodically and replace expired bottles as needed.

4. Be Prepared for Power Lines

Do you know what to do if a power line lands on your car while you’re inside? Exit the car only if it is on fire, the CDC cautions. To safely exit, jump out so you are in mid-air before reaching the ground, then shuffle 50 or more feet from the car, keeping both feet in contact with the ground as much as possible.

 5. Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Even in dire circumstances, charcoal grills and camp stoves should not be ignited inside any type of enclosed area or building. When the power is out, gas stovetops and ovens become dangerous, so you’ll need to seek substitute heating and cooking methods. The CDC also recommends mounting a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector that will alert you to danger even if electricity fails.

Stay safe when using generators by never running a generator indoors. Keep your generator as far outside of your home as possible so carbon monoxide stays out of the house and garage.

How can your home or business stay safer during winter storms and electrical outages? Kirby Electric installs systems for carbon monoxide monitoring so you can concentrate on getting through power outages with less stress. Request a quote to learn more about carbon monoxide monitoring and safety systems for your home or workplace.

About Kirby Electric

Kirby Electric is a premier Seattle electrical contractor specializing in commercial and industrial electrical contracting. As your local commercial electrician, we can help with any electrical needs when it comes to upgrading older buildings, including equipment hook ups, rewiring or relocating panels, and lighting upgrades. We also work with electrical companies like Puget Sound Energy, Tacoma Public Utilities, Lakeview Power and others that will provide a rebate for upgrading to a more efficient lighting upon approval of the project. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to get a quote.