Dorm Room Electric Safety 101

Raleigh, N.C. —College is an experience unlike any other.  The surroundings, people, food and classes are all new. You might be looking for some things that remind you of home to comfort you and the perfect place to do this is in that tiny space called your dorm room. Before you hang posters and wires everywhere take these Touchstone Energy Tips into consideration so that your room isn’t just comfortable but also safe.

An unsafe room can cause an electrical fire, which sends a whole building up in flames. According to statistics 1,800 fires take place in student dorms and Greek housing each year across the nation.

  • Do not overload extension cords, power strips or outlets.
  • All appliances indicate how much wattage is consumed when operated; that rating can be found on the appliance itself and often within the use and care booklet that accompanies the product.
  • Be wary of electrical outlets that get too hot to touch: If an electrical outlet becomes so hot you cannot leave your hand on it, you have a potential fire hazard.
  • Do not connect multiple extension cords together.
  • Extension cords should not be used as a long-term solution when you need another outlet. The longer an extension cord is, the more chance it can be damaged over time.
  • Do not place cords under doors or carpets.
  • Do not staple extension cords.
  • Use light bulbs with correct wattage for lamps.

Before heading to college it’s a good idea to find out what is and isn’t allowed in the dorm room. A lot of places prohibit hot plates, halogen light bulbs and candles. If something doesn’t look safe talk to your resident advisor. Many resident halls have old wiring and even with renovations the dorm wiring often can’t handle all the appliances and gadgets students try and plug in. Your dorm room is your new home and you should feel comfortable in it.