I received these today and basically just as stated. Simple power-strip with maybe some minimal surge protection and a switch and indicator. For the price they are pretty good. Comes 2 packed into a brown AmazonBasics box. The cord is short which is actually what I wanted. I wish it had the fancy right-angle plug but it’s just a basic straight plug and the wire is decent gauge but a bit stiff at first.
FWIW The investigator for my house fire said mine was not the first fire he knew of caused by an Amazon basics power strip. There was one thing plugged into it, an air fryer. My house was a total loss.
Aren’t you not supposed to put things like air fryers on the power strips? I know sticking heaters onto strips or surge protectors is a fire hazard.
Anyways what’s good is a 200 jewels surge protector? What kind of devices would it protect?
It might be possible that there are millions of Amazon Basics power strips in use. And they are branded, unlike the many “plain label” devices out there. And they are low priced. Therefore, the investigator may be commenting on something that is not so much related to the product but rather its ubiquity.
Power strips can be very convenient, but they can also be problematic.
Basic Safety Guidelines for Using Power Strips - Penny Electric
Sorry for your loss.
I also got these. My only comment is that the light to show it’s on is rather bright
100% you shouldn’t be running any high wattage items like heaters/ovens on power strips or extension cords. The cords on them are rated for the watts they pull and cheap extensions are often not and will heat up. I don’t recommend anything long term on power strips other than low watt things like phone chargers and lamps running LEDs.
Out of curiosity did your insurance cover the fire?
Yep. Insurance covered everything we needed and more. We actually ended up with a much better situation for us.
The investigator’s opinion was that we were using it properly and it was the fault of the power strip. I still buy many many things from Amazon, but I now avoid their electronics. Just sharing my experience to add to the information available for people to make an informed decision for themselves.
Thanks for your condolences. It all worked out in the end.
Test from friendly woot developers
Don’t. Just don’t. They are the worst kind of cheap you can buy. Be very careful with Amazon basic products in general. There is no middle ground with them. They are either outstanding, very few, or outright dangerous. Why do you think they are on Woot? They aren’t selling.
My air fryer manual said never plug it into an extension cord or power strip of any kind. They draw a lot of juice.
Our local fire inspector has said at least a thousand times that almost ALL the home fires in our city are caused by either 1) fire started on stove / in oven due to “ignorant / inattentive or intoxicated person attempting to cook” or 2) power strip used in a flat face up mode (he used to blame extension cords as well, but that only included the multitap ones so now he classifies them in with power strips). He had a trunk full of failed strips, and mostly it was bad connections, cracked cord conductors, and STUFF SPILLED INTO OUTLETS - less than half the time, the amount of power needed by the devices were part of the cause. While it is possible to plug in 2 devices at 1000 Watts onto a 1550 Watt rated strip (pretty much the standard rating for multitap strips) without tripping the house’s circuit breaker, normally 15 Amp will trip at well under 2000 Watts, but a 20 amp circuit won’t until nearly 2500 Watts. The problems seem to be either overloaded AND over length, damaged prior to use, dirty / corroded, or (the worst) the cord buried under a carpet / improper cover which holds in any and all heat until the insulation melts.
High watt small appliances should use cords and multi taps rated for shop tools and air conditioners. They will not have surge suppression or a circuit breaker.
If you read the listings on alot of these power strips they aren’t UL certified. I replaced the Amazon basics 2 pack I had bought because there was not an UL certified stamp anywhere on the device. This listing… Same thing. No indication it is UL certified safe. BUYER BEWARE
There is no law in the U.S. requiring UL certification . But commercial building and electrical codes as well as retailers may require it. And if you produce a product designed to meet specific safety criteria or it might pose a safety risk, you definitely need testing.
I’m sorry for your loss, but it wasn’t the fault of the extension cord. As much as I’d like to blame it, because they are shoddy if they state Amazon Basics. And if your fire “investigator” stated that you were using the air fryer properly (spoiler: you weren’t) he should be investigated himself.
If you have a fire inspector come by anywhere and they see some high-current-draw appliance plugged into an extension cord with, maybe, 22 gauge wire, they are SUPPOSED to fine you, unless it was a requested inspection.
I’ve noticed that a great deal of items have been coming from China. They are not particularly heavy duty in build and most electrical items are built really cheap and sometimes shoddy.
If you compared the brass connections of this strip outlet to a regular house outlet, you would find the strip outlet brass is really thin and will get hot when something of high load is plugged in.
The key warning is the price.
The review from Amazon:
Defective upon delivery, nearly caused a fire.
By Renniks on January 10, 2018
Verified Amazon Purchase
The first time I plugged this in, it blew a breaker and nearly lit on fire. I’m an electrical engineer by trade and in my professional opinion, these power strips feature a great deal of shoddy craftsmanship. I opened them up to share with you all.
The power strip on the left is missing a solder pad connection or possibly even a pin to some component. I didn’t investigate further as turning the electronics around would probably damage the plastic housing. Needless to say I have not plugged this one in yet and have no intention to do so. The power strip on the right comes with an additional solder bridge between the earth ground and the hot line of the AC connection in addition to all its other features. We are very lucky this didn’t catch on fire when it got plugged in. It’s totally unacceptable and dangerous to let products like this out the door. I don’t know what manner of QA Amazon requires of it’s products, but it obviously isn’t terribly rigorous. I would warn everyone from purchasing these. If I could give 0 stars I would.
you will never see a appliance with a 22 guage wire. That is like Bell wire, used for telephones and would fry the wire when plugged in.
But this device is really cheap, I’d guarantee from CHINA and should you open one up you will see really thin brass connections. Be careful what you buy. This is what the US buys now since we don’t make our own stuff anymore. We are on a level with the rest of the world now.
In the future do not plug high wattage appliances into a power strip (like an air fryer) no matter what brand it is. If you read the instruction manual it will tell you the max wattage. I’m not writing this to scold you rather to educate you and others who may not be aware. I’m glad everything worked out in the end.