How to Choose: Surge Protector vs. Power Strip

SCE recommends these safety tips for you and your electronics.

Do you know the difference between a surge protector and a power strip?

Surge protectors and power strips both allow you to plug several appliances into one location, but it’s important for you to know the key differences between them to keep your home and electronic devices safe.

A power strip simply provides more outlet spaces for a circuit. However, a
surge protector contains components known as metal oxide varistors that divert the excess energy of a surge to the ground.

These devices look very similar so it may be difficult to differentiate between the two. One way to tell is that most surge protectors have information on the back providing its suppressed voltage rating, which measures the level of protection provided.

Surge protectors do have a limited lifespan and experts recommend replacement every 3-5 years. Some units have a light that may alert you that the protection is no longer active following a power surge, so check your unit once power is restored.

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