Home Electrical Safety: How to Properly Use Extension Cords

extension cords

Extension cords can be helpful, but make sure you are handling them correctly to avoid an electrical fire.

Did you know that some 3,300 electrical fires occur each year as a result of extension cords? When used improperly, extension cables can overheat and cause fires, damaging your home and putting your safety at risk. Protect your home and workplace by following these easy steps for correctly handling extension cords.

Check Your Cords

Always make sure your extension cords are properly rated for their intended use, indoor or outdoor. Your extension cord should meet or exceed the requirements of the device they’re plugged into. You can typically find a wattage rating on the appliance or tool you’re using. Routinely inspect cords for damage before using them. Cracked or frayed sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections all pose potential fire hazards. Use a cord length that’s appropriate for your needs.

Avoid Hazards

  • Do not overload your extension cords! Don’t attempt to plug extension cords into one another, nail extension cords to walls or baseboards, or run extension cords through walls, doorways, ceilings, and floors. A covered extension cord will trap heat and create a fire hazard.
  • Keep outdoor extension cords away from snow and standing water.
  • Extension cords should not be used with heaters or fans, which can cause the cord to overheat.
  • Don’t bend or coil cords and stop using extension cords when they feel hot to the touch.

Care for Your Cords

  • Keep extension cords stored indoors and unplug them when they’re not in use.
  • Throw away any damaged cords.
  • When disconnecting from an outlet, pull the plug and not the cord.

Evaluate Needs

Never substitute extension cords for permanent wiring. If you find yourself relying on extension cords a lot, it may be an indication that you have too few outlets. Consider installing additional electrical outlets into your home. Extension cords are also not the thing to cut corners on, only buy cords that have been approved by an independent testing laboratory. Try to use cords with polarized or three-prong plugs and never plug three-prong plugs into outlets that have only two slots.

Get in Touch with Haramis Electric Today

When it comes to electrical work, Haramis Electric can help you get the job done. Haramis Electric is an Anne Arundel County-based electrical contracting company. We offer both residential and commercial services for clients throughout Maryland. Haramis Electric provides incomparable service that will give you the electrical work you need without pushing you over your budget. Request a free estimate online or by calling 410-451-0200.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 at 10:29 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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