I am helping a small business redo their networking, and one of the items I recommended was an APC BR1500MS.

Their setup would be Wall outlet (standard "home" outlet) -> UPS -> UPS Battery backes Outlet -> belkin surge protector -> a bunch of small networking devices with wall warts.

At home, I have been using UPS -> Belkin pivoting surge protectors for years to plug in all of my small networking devices (cable modem, switch, router, etc) in to one battery backed port on the the UPS (since all of the wall warts never fit on the UPS itself) without any issues that I know of.

I have come across a myriad of conflicting information on this practice and how it might affect a business:

  • Will this be considered a fire code violation
  • The use of a surge protector versus a PDU (and if this still could be a fire code violation)
  • if there are any actual inherent safety problems in the UPS Outlet -> Surge protector other than human error (like plugging in a vacuum cleaner)

What are best practices that people follow in this situation?


Questions regarding fire code validations are best directed to your local fire marshal/inspector - before your inspection. You can ask anybody you want on the internet, but only his/her opinion matters in this specific case.

Having said that, I'll add my worthless opinion to the pile you already have: I would not use more than one outlet strip on the UPS; I'd make sure it was on a battery protected receptacle (not a "surge only" or unprotected receptacle); and of course all the usual advice such as no daisy-chaining outlet strips, don't permanently mount the outlet strip, etc.

  • Is there actual damage that can happen from having a surge protector connected to a battery backed up plug though(under the assumption you are not going over the rated amps)? This is probably the main issue I am concerned about. – solenoid Feb 19 '18 at 14:41
  • Pure speculation here, but I believe the concern is that if the outlets on the UPS are basically the equivalent of a built-in outlet strip, you run the risk of inadvertently creating an "octopus" scenario (which nobody thinks is a good or safe idea). Again, I am no expert in UPS design, so take my opinions with a grain of salt. – Brandon Xavier Feb 20 '18 at 0:05

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