Extension cords are a convenient way to supply power right where you need it. However, as any electrical contractor in Anaconda, MT will tell you, extension cords can also become a fire hazard and a risk to your safety.
You might not believe that something so easy to use in every day circumstances could pose a threat to your safety, but the truth is that extension cords are the cause of fires and injuries more often than you think. Below are a few easy to follow guidelines you can use for extension cord safety in your home:
Only use an exterior extension for outdoor use
There is a difference in the durability between an exterior and interior extension cord. Extension cords designed for the interior of your home will not be able to stand up to the outdoor elements.
Don’t lay extension cords across high traffic areas
Extension cords that are run across high traffic areas pose a serious risk to tripping and damage to the outlet if they are constantly being jerked out of the socket. They are also more likely to become worn and frayed, which can cause a fire or even electrocution.
Don’t run extension cords under furniture or rugs
You may be tempted to run extension cords under rugs or furniture to get them out of the way, but this is a dangerous practice. Extension cords that are put under furniture can overheat easily and cause a fire.
Never use staples or nails to mount extension cords
If you use nails or staples to mount an extension cord, you run the risk of accidentally puncturing the protective rubber which can lead to a shock or create a fire hazard.
Don’t plug extension cords together
Extension cords are made to carry a specific voltage a specific distance. By linking extension cords together, you will reduce the voltage and not receive enough power to your devices.
Don’t attempt to plug a three-prong extension cord into a two-prong outlet
Any time an extension cord has three prongs, one of them is the grounder. When you attempt to plug a three-prong extension into a two-prong outlet, the electrical current that would have gone through the grounder will now jump to the nearest source (you) causing electrocution.
Check and follow maximum capacity guidelines for your extension cord
Make sure to follow the maximum capacity for your extension cord. If you overload the cord, you could damage your devices or risk a power surge.
Store extension cords properly
Any time your extension cord is not in use, unplug it and store it indoors. Be sure not to leave the cords dangling anywhere where they can be pulled down or tripped over.
By following these simple guidelines for extension cord safety, you can prevent electrical fires and bodily injury. However, if you should find a serious problem with your extension cord that causes harm to your outlet or electrical system, be sure to contact your local electrical contractor in Anaconda, MT for professional help.