02 Oct Wires, Wires, Everywhere: Protecting Power Cords Inside and Outside Classrooms
Follow these simple tips to protect Chromebook adapter cords from fraying or causing hazards in homes and classrooms.
Power adapters give students the flexibility to keep Chromebooks charged up while they travel. Despite being made for mobility, adapter cords are incredibly fragile and easily succumb to damage from daily tension caused by yanking, wrapping and twisting them. For many districts with one-to-one programs, the best option is to have students charge their devices at home, eliminating the need to use cords in school.
However, this model isn’t possible for every district, especially with a large quantity of students who don’t have internet access at home. Charged devices may last through the school day, but they may require more power when students have to homework at local libraries or businesses. If you don’t want to rack up high replacement costs, teach students these easy tips for keeping their adapter cords safe from damage.
- Loosely Wrap Cords
When students have a house full of electronics, wrapping up cords is one of the easiest ways to avoid a tangled nest of cables. Yet, this common practice can quickly create weak points in the outer casing. Think about it. A soft cable is stretching and twisting around a hard power brick, leading to unnatural bends and constant friction. Instead, wrap the cord in a loose circle or oval shape without bending it around any hard object. Many cords come with a small Velcro strap to keep them secured, but you can also use a twist tie.
- Avoid Suspension
Tripping hazards are one of the main reasons school administrators prefer students to leave power cords at home. Students can absentmindedly walk past a power cord and trip over it. The cord may also be yanked out of its socket, causing damage to the plug, socket or Chromebook port. Avoid plugging in anywhere that would leave the cord suspended in the air or pulled taut, putting unnecessary tension on the wires.
- Unplug Safely
No matter where students use their Chromebooks, they should never yank a plug out of the wall. Yanking the cord here and there may seem harmless, but it only takes one time to bend the plug prongs or blow a socket. Constant pulling also makes the cord weak at the ends or where it meets the power brick, creating a hazard if the student continues using the plug when the wires are exposed.
- Lift at the Brick
When lifting the power cord off the floor, always pick up the power brick first. Using a lightweight cord to lift the heavy power brick over and over again is a recipe for damage, as this puts excessive strain on the cable. The durable cord casing can often survive this type of manhandling even when the internal wires become broken, making it difficult to see the underlying hazard.
- Keep Cords Away From Pets
Chromebook cords aren’t safe at home if students have pets that enjoy nibbling on cables, such as dogs and cats. This dangerous habit can leave live wires exposed and put pets at risk of electrocution. Not to mention, the cord won’t be usable anymore and will require a replacement.
- Choose Cases With Cord Storage
One of the smartest ways to guard against a wide range of cord hazards is to provide Chromebook cases with built-in storage for the power adapter. The Bubble II Chromebook case by Volume Cases includes a padded pocket for an adapter cord. With case storage, students can keep their adapters in a safe place and avoid exposing them to sharp, heavy or rough objects in their backpacks. This also provides a convenient solution for students who have to travel with a power adapter because they frequently use internet at public facilities, instead of at home.
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