Extension Cord Safety Tips

Extension cords are a handy addition to any household, office or commercial space but proper care and precautions need to be taken to ensure their safety as they can be a safety hazard. An overheated extension cord can result in a fire. If placed haphazardly in a high-traffic area, people can trip. And if used near water, there’s the risk of electrical shock.

When shopping for an extension cord:

  • For outdoor use, only purchase cords made for outdoor projects.
  • If your cord comes with instructions on the packaging, always read and follow them, especially regarding how much power it requires.
  • Choose a cord that can handle the wattage of the devices you’ll use.
  • Think about the length you’ll need and keep in mind that longer cords can’t handle as much current as shorter cords of the same gauge.

When using an extension cord:

  • Try to avoid plugging multiple appliances into one cord.
  • Don’t use indoor extension cords outdoors.
  • Never plug multiple cords together.
  • Don’t run extension cords under furniture and rugs, as this prevents any heat generated from escaping, producing a fire hazard.
  • It is not advisable to tape, staple or nail extension cords to the floor or walls.
  • Don’t bend an extension cord when in use.
  • If the extension cord feels hot to the touch, stop using it.

To care for an extension cord:

  • Always store indoors.
  • Unplug when not in use.
  • Dispose of damaged cords.
  • To disconnect from the plug point, pull the plug and not the cord.

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