Extension Cord Safety Tips
Extension Cord Safety Tips
February 14, 2019
Extension cords were designed to make our lives easier. But when used incorrectly, they can turn into a major fire or electrocution hazard.
If you rely on extension cords for your electronics at home, keep safety in mind. Here are a few extension cord safety tips from our team at Buzz Electrical.
1. Check extension cords for any damage before you plug in.
If your extension cord looks torn or weathered, if the rubber coating has worn off or if any wires are exposed, throw it out immediately. Extension cords are pretty inexpensive, and your safety is priceless. Old, damaged cords can easily spark electrical fires.
2. Don’t chain multiple extension cords together.
It seems logical to assume that you can string extension cords together and double their length. But they are actually not designed to handle electricity that way. If you discover your extension cord is a little bit too short, replace it with an extra long cord. You can find cords of any length, like this 50ft cord on Amazon.
3. Use extension cords with three-prong plugs.
The third prong in an outlet isn’t just for show—it actually helps protect you from electrical shocks. If a surge or a wiring issue disrupts the normal flow of electricity to one of your appliances, the third prong on a plug creates an alternative pathway for the electricity to travel. It will flow through a “grounding circuit” instead of into your unsuspecting hand.
Using extension cords with three-prong plugs keeps you safer from electrocution. Check for a third prong before you buy a cord.
4. Check extension cords labels for indoor or outdoor use.
Indoor extension cords tend to be thinner and less conspicuous. Outdoor extension cords have thicker and more durable coating to protect their wires. This makes them much bulkier, but that won’t be noticeable outside.
If you use an extension cord that is too flimsy outside, it won’t be able to handle severe weather or temperatures. If your cord is damaged, it leaves your home vulnerable to exposed wires and potential sparks.
5. Never run extension cords under rugs.
While it might be tempting to hide an ugly extension cord underneath a rug, don’t do it. Rugs prevent extension cords from releasing heat as electricity flows through them. If this trapped heat builds up, it can start a fire.
6. Don’t use extension cords as permanent wiring solutions.
While extension cords are definitely a helpful tool, they are not designed for long-term use. If you need extension cords because you don’t have enough well-placed outlets at home, consider installing a few new ones. Outlet installation by an experienced electrician is a much safer alternative to leaving extension cords lying around the house, and it will look better in your rooms too.
We hope these extension cords safety tips help protect our customers.
At Buzz Electrical, our customers’ safety is our number one priority. We hope by sharing these extension cord safety tips we can help prevent electrical fires.
If your home doesn’t have enough outlets and you find yourself constantly reaching for an extension cord to get the job done, consider installing some new outlets. Give us a call today for more information about adding outlets to your electrical system.
Family owned and operated Buzz Electrical is Fayetteville’s leading electrical company! If you need any electrical repairs or electrical upgrades in your Arkansas home, we are here to help. Give us a call at (479) 267-2899