I’ve always been kind of terrified working with electricity around the house, even when I can confirm that the breaker is off and there’s technically nothing flowing through the wires … to the point where Sara actually had to “do the wires” when we had to install a new ceiling fan when we bought our house a few years ago…
I think I’m getting slightly better though, in that I’ve recently changed out a couple of the outlets in our bedroom to these awesome USB-integrated outlets that make charging phones and tablets a little easier. I ended up doing an excessive amount of research on them, both because I soon learned that not all outlets offer the necessary amperage to charge an iPad and an iPhone at the same time, and also – arguably more importantly – apparently some cheaper outlets have a tendency to hum or even smoke and catch on fire!!!
Yeah, because that helps with my fear of monkeying with wires! 😯
Ultimately I ended up spending about 20 minutes standing in the aisle at Home Depot reading and Googling until I decided upon these Leviton brand outlets that seem to have good stats and lack any of those nasty melting plastic reviews. I’ve been using the first one for a couple of weeks without incident, so today I installed Sara’s on the other side of the room and I’ll probably get a few more to strategically place around the house, too.
The only thing I’m not crazy about is that the placement of the USB ports makes it tough to use wall warts at the same time, but in my case my laptop plugs are small anyways and they’d most likely be the ones sharing the plug that I swapped out for myself. They also make an option that trades out one of the standard plugs for the USB ports if keeping the one available for larger adapters is a necessity.
Next to wiring the entire house for ethernet, more widespread installation of these types of outlets is definitely going to be addressed when we build our new house!