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Extension Cord Safety Tips for Homeowners

extension cord

Extension cord safety tips for homeowners are a must. Extension cords are a convenient solution for powering devices in various areas of your home, but misusing them can pose serious safety risks. Each year, around 3,300 home fires originate from extension cords, resulting in tragic consequences. To ensure the well-being of your household and workplace, it’s crucial to be aware of and follow these essential extension cord safety tips.

Prevent Overloading: 

Never overload extension cords by connecting too many devices to a single cord. Be mindful of the cord’s capacity, as overloading can lead to overheating and increased fire risks. If more outlets are needed, consider having additional ones installed by a professional. Lets look at an example below.

Regular Inspections: 

Periodically inspect extension cords for signs of wear and tear. Check for cracked or frayed sockets, loose or bare wires, and any loose connections. Replace damaged cords immediately to maintain a safe electrical environment. A great example of bare wiring is below.

Proper Placement: 

Avoid running extension cords through walls, doorways, ceilings, or floors, as this restricts heat dissipation and increases the likelihood of a fire hazard. Keep cords in open spaces to allow proper ventilation and reduce the risk of overheating.

Choose Approved Cords: 

Purchase extension cords that have been approved by an independent testing laboratory. This ensures that the cord meets safety standards and has undergone rigorous testing for reliability.

Outdoor Safety: 

Keep outdoor extension cords clear of snow and standing water. Moisture can compromise the cord’s integrity and pose additional electrical hazards. Store outdoor cords properly when not in use to prevent damage.

Avoid Nailing or Stapling: 

Refrain from nailing or stapling electrical cords to walls or baseboards, as this can damage the insulation and expose wires, creating a potential shock or fire hazard.

Ground Pin Integrity: 

Never use three-prong plugs with outlets that only have two slots. Avoid cutting off the ground pin to force a fit, as this can lead to electric shock and compromise the safety features of the cord. This photo shows the grown missing on the extension cord.

No Substitutes for Permanent Wiring: 

Extension cords are meant for temporary use only. Avoid using them as a substitute for permanent wiring, as this can pose long-term safety risks.

Caution with Heaters and Fans: 

Do not use extension cords or power strips with heaters or fans. The additional load may cause cords to overheat, increasing the risk of a fire. Instead, use dedicated outlets for such appliances.

By following these extension cord safety tips for homeowners, you can significantly reduce the risk of fires and electrical hazards in your home. Prioritize safety by investing in quality cords, being mindful of usage, and regularly inspecting your equipment. Your proactive approach will contribute to a safer living environment for you and your loved ones.

If you need additional outlets installed in your home please contact Amps & Volts Electric at (219) 462-FUSE (3873) or click here to make an appointment. We can help you with your extension cord safety.