The dry and hot season is upon us. This means not only higher power consumption, as we try to keep cool, but also greater risk of fire.
I found a brochure from the Manila Electric Company, “Guide to Your Convenient New Home,” that everyone may find useful. I don’t know how I got it, but you may want to ask the nearest Meralco office for a copy.
A good starting point considering the season is the section on “Basic Home Safety Tips”:
Keep television sets away from windows. When it rains, Meralco says, water may get into the TV housing and damage the set. (This may be the dry season, but we do have rains every now and then.) A wet TV can put people at risk for electric shock. For this reason, containers with liquid, such as vases or glasses, should also not be placed on top of the TV set.
Keep small metal objects away from TV sets. Paper clips, nails and other small metal objects are conductors of electricity. They can also cause electric shock.
If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker or causes an electric shock, unplug it and have it checked by an electrician or have it replaced immediately.
Do not run electrical cords under rugs, carpets or furniture. Walking on cords can break wiring and possibly cause fire.
Check all entertainment and computer equipment. Make sure all equipment and electrical appliances are in good condition and working properly. Look for cracks in or damage to wiring, plugs and connectors.
To make it convenient to plug and unplug appliances from electrical outlets, Meralco suggests using power strips or extension cords, as they are more popularly known here.
“Consider a power strip as a central ‘turn-off’ point for electronics, video games and computers when not in use. Using a power strip allows multiple devices to be plugged into one unit,” Meralco says.
Instead of having to unplug multiple devices, you only have the power strip to disconnect from the outlet. Many power strips have separate switches for every appliance. You can turn the switch on or off to cut the power supply.
The power company also says the screen size of your high-definition TV should be based on your viewing distance from the unit. For instance, the minimum viewing distance from a 21-inch TV is 2.6 feet and the maximum is 5.3 feet.
For a 155-inch set, the minimum is 19.4 feet and the maximum is 38.8 feet. Given the sizes of many condominium and apartment units these days, the 155-inch set, even if you can afford it, may not be the ideal choice.
The brochure offers a formula to help you decide what TV size is suitable for your living room, or wherever you plan to put the set. It also contains a table listing minimum and maximum viewing distances for different TV sizes, from 21 to 155 inches.
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