The difference between a surge protector and a power strip is the surge protector is a type of power strip that has surge protection to protect your electronics and appliances from electrical surges while the power strip is just a short type of extension cord with additional outlets without any additional surge protection.
A typical surge protector passes the electrical current along the outlet to number of the devices plugged into the power strip.
If the voltage happens to rise above the acceptable level, the protector will divert the extra electricity into the outlets grounding wire.
It's recommended that you replace power strips and surge protectors every 2 to 3 years.
However you can keep a power strip or surge protector as long as it's in good condition and the outlets are tight and not loose and you have no frayed wires on it.
Power strips can cause fires if the power strip is overloaded or if the power strip is bad.
If you overload the power strip then the power strip can start a fire.
Although if the power strip has a breaker on it then the breaker should trip when you pull too much power from the power strip.
Also never plug high wattage things into the power strip such as a space heater that runs longer than a few minutes or so.
Plugging a hair dryer into the power strip is generally safe as long as you don't run the hair dryer longer than 5 minutes or so at a time.
A space heater on the other hand would be a constant load which can heat up a power strip.
Space heaters should be plugged directly into an outlet.
If the power strip also has a frayed cord on it then it should be discarded and replaced.
A power strip gives you the ability to plug multiple devices into a single wall outlet.
A surge protector is a type of power strip which is specifically designed to withstand a power surge and keep your electronics safe.
As long as you don't overload the power strip or surge protector they should not cause any fire.
Also make sure the outlets are fitting tight and not loose and also make sure the outlet that you plug the power strip or surge protector into is tight fitting.
The loose connection of the outlet can cause the plug and outlet to heat up which can start a fire.