Proper Use of Extension Cords


“Extension cords are a common and convenient way to bring power to electrical devices. But used without proper caution, they can become fire hazards and pose risks to your personal safety,” according to State Farm.

State Farm isn’t the only reputable organization to warn people about the dangers of extension cords. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) reports that about 3,300 home fires each year originate from extension cords, taking the lives of 50 people and injuring around 270 more.

“How are extension cords causing residential fires?” you might ask. They can cause fires because they have the potential to overheat, especially when people don’t use them correctly. So, take these tips into account to ensure that your home and workplace are safe when extension cords are in use.

Extension Cord Safety Tips

  • NEVER try to plug extension cords into each other. A lot of people have tried this thinking it makes perfect sense but it is very dangerous.
  • Before using an extension cord, make sure it’s properly rated for what you intend to use it for (indoor or outdoor), and make sure that it can handle the power needs of the device or appliance you want to use it for.
  • Do NOT overload an extension cord.
  • Before using an extension cord, always inspect it for damage. Be on the lookout for frayed sockets, cracked sockets, bare wires, and loose connections.
  • Do not run an extension cord through a ceiling, wall, floor, or door. Why? Because, if the cord is covered in any way, heat cannot escape and this can cause a fire.
  • For all outdoor extension cords, keep them away from standing water and snow.
  • If you rely heavily on extension cords, it means you do not have enough outlets to meet your needs. The solution is to have more outlets installed.
  • Do not nail or staple any extension cords to walls or baseboards.

Next: Does My Electrical System Need Updating?

We hope you found these tips useful. If you’re looking for an Atlanta electrical contractor, contact Lightning Bug Electric to schedule a service call.

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