• 866-858-6918
  • Mon - Fri: 08.00 - 17.00
Extension cords safety

Extension cords are a common sight in households and workplaces, providing us with the flexibility to power our devices and appliances even when outlets are out of reach. However, their convenience comes with potential risks if not used properly.

Electrical hazards such as fires, shocks, and property damage can arise from misuse or neglect of extension cords. To ensure your safety and that of your property, it is crucial to follow best practices when utilizing these versatile tools.

In this article, we will provide you with ten effective tips to maximize extension cord safety. By implementing these guidelines, you can minimize the chances of accidents and enjoy the benefits of extension cords with peace of mind.

Tip 1: Choose the Right Extension Cord

Selecting the appropriate extension cord is crucial to ensure safe and efficient power distribution. Consider the following factors when choosing a cord:

Power requirements

Determine the wattage of the devices you intend to connect to the extension cord. Choose a cord that can handle the total power load without overheating or causing voltage drops.

Length and gauge

Longer cords have higher resistance, which can affect power delivery. Choose a cord of adequate length and gauge to minimize power loss.

Safety certifications

Look for cords with safety certifications, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or ETL (Intertek), which indicate compliance with safety standards.

Tip 2: Inspect the Extension Cord

Before each use, thoroughly inspect the extension cord to ensure it is in good condition. Look for signs of physical damage, such as cuts, fraying, or exposed wires. Pay attention to the plugs and connectors for any signs of wear or loose connections. If you notice any damage, replace the cord immediately to prevent electrical hazards.

Tip 3: Avoid Overloading Extension Cords

Overloading extension cords can lead to overheating, which poses a fire risk. Follow these guidelines to avoid overloading:

Understand the cord’s ampere rating

Each extension cord has a maximum ampere rating specified on its packaging. Do not exceed this limit.

Calculate total wattage

Determine the combined wattage of all devices connected to the cord. Ensure it does not exceed the cord’s wattage rating.

Use multiple cords or alternative power sources 

If you require more power than a single extension cord can provide, consider using multiple cords or alternative power sources like power strips or additional outlets.

Tip 4: Properly Plug In and Unplug the Extension Cord

Incorrectly plugging in or unplugging an extension cord can damage the cord or cause electrical shocks. Follow these steps for safe usage:

Insert the plug firmly into the outlet to establish a secure connection.

Avoid forcing or bending the cord excessively, as this can damage the wires inside.

When unplugging, pull the plug directly from the outlet, not the cord itself. This prevents strain on the cord and reduces the risk of damage or electric shock.

Tip 5: Keep Extension Cords Dry

Water and moisture can damage extension cords and increase the risk of electrical shock. Here’s how to keep them dry:

Avoid using extension cords in wet or damp areas. If outdoor use is necessary, choose weatherproof extension cords specifically designed for outdoor environments.

Protect cords from water sources such as rain, puddles, or sprinklers. Use covers or enclosures to shield the cord connections.

Tip 6: Prevent Tripping Hazards

Loose or improperly placed extension cords can create tripping hazards. Take the following precautions:

✔  Keep cords away from high-traffic areas, walkways, and doorways.

✔  Use cord covers, tape, or cable protectors to secure cords to the ground and prevent them from becoming tangled or creating obstacles.

 Arrange furniture and objects to avoid cord entanglement and minimize tripping risks.

Tip 7: Store Extension Cords Properly

Proper storage helps prolong the lifespan of extension cords and prevents damage. Follow these storage practices:

✔  Coil the cords neatly to avoid tangling and knotting. Use cable ties or Velcro straps to secure them.

✔  Consider using cord reels or organizers designed specifically for extension cords. These keep cords organized and protect them from physical damage.

 Store cords in a dry and cool place to prevent moisture and exposure to extreme temperatures.

Tip 8: Avoid Running Extension Cords Under Carpets or Rugs

Running extension cords under carpets or rugs can pose significant fire hazards. Instead, follow these alternatives:

✔  Use cord channels or cord protectors specifically designed to conceal and protect cords while keeping them visible.

✔  Ensure that cords are not covered or hidden by any objects, allowing you to monitor their condition and prevent overheating.

Tip 9: Use Extension Cords Temporarily

While extension cords provide convenience, they are intended for temporary use. Follow these guidelines:

✔  Recognize that extension cords are not a substitute for permanent wiring solutions. If you frequently require additional outlets, consider installing more outlets in your home or workspace.

 Minimize the use of extension cords for long-term connections. Long-term usage increases the risk of wear and damage to the cord.

Tip 10: Regularly Check and Maintain Extension Cords

Performing regular maintenance checks on your extension cords ensures ongoing safety. Follow these maintenance practices:

✔  Inspect cords periodically for signs of wear and tear, including fraying, cracking, or exposed wires.

✔  Replace damaged cords immediately to avoid electrical hazards.

✔  Clean cords regularly by wiping them with a dry cloth to remove dust and debris.

Conclusion - Stay Powered Safely with Extension Cords Best Practices

Choose best extension cords only

In conclusion, using extension cords safely is vital to prevent electrical hazards and ensure the longevity of your devices. By following the ten tips outlined in this article, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and create a safer environment.

Remember to choose the right extension cord for your needs, inspect cords for damage before use, avoid overloading, and handle plugging and unplugging correctly. Keep extension cords dry, prevent tripping hazards, and store them properly. Avoid running cords under carpets or rugs, use them temporarily, and regularly check and maintain their condition.

By prioritizing extension cord safety, you can power your devices and appliances with peace of mind, knowing that you have taken the necessary precautions to protect yourself, your property, and others.

© Copyright 2023 Managed By Lead303