Extension cords offer a convenient solution for powering electrical devices. However, if used carelessly, they can pose a significant risk to personal safety and property by igniting fires. Taking safety measures while using extension cords is essential to avoid any potential danger. Here are some helpful tips to ensure your home remains safe and secure while using extension cords.
Tips for Choosing Extension Cords
To ensure that you choose the appropriate extension cord for your needs, follow these tips:
- Only buy cords that an independent testing laboratory has sanctioned.
- If you’re working outdoors, only use extension cords marked explicitly for outdoor use. If the instructions are available, read them to obtain details about the cord’s proper use and the amount of electricity it draws.
- Choose cords that can accommodate the wattage of the appliances you plan to use them with. The cord’s gauge, which denotes its size, determines how much electricity it can handle: the lower the number, the bigger the wire and the greater the amount of electricity the cord can securely bear.
- Consider the length you require, bearing in mind that shorter cords of the same gauge can accommodate more electricity than longer ones.
- Choose cords with polarized or three-prong plugs to ensure safety.
- For large appliances, utilize thick, circular, low-gauge extension cords. For small appliances and electronics, you can use thin or flat cords.
5 Safety Tips to Consider
Before using a multi-socket extension cord, there are some important safety tips to consider. Check out the tips below to reduce any possible risks in your home.
1. Check the Load Capacity
First and foremost, you need to check the load capacity of the extension cord. Every extension cord has a maximum load capacity, which is the amount of electricity it can handle. Overloading an extension cord can cause it to overheat and potentially catch fire, which is extremely dangerous. Ensure the total wattage of the devices you want to plug in is, at most, the maximum load capacity of the extension cord.
2. Avoid Daisy Chaining
Daisy chaining refers to connecting multiple extension cords to increase the length. This practice can increase the risk of overheating and fire hazards as well as voltage drops, which can cause damage to your devices. Using a single extension cord long enough to reach your devices without connecting another one is best.
3. Don’t Cover the Extension Cord
Covering the extension cord with a rug, furniture, or any other object can increase the risk of overheating, leading to a fire. Ensure the extension cord is visible and not covered by anything, including other cords.
4. Choose the Right Extension Cord for the Environment
Not all extension cords are created equal, and some are better suited for different environments. For example, if you’re using the extension cord outdoors, it must be waterproof and designed for outdoor use. Consider a cord cover to prevent tripping hazards if you’re using the extension cord in a high-traffic area.
5. Inspect the Cord Regularly
Extension cords can become damaged over time, increasing the risk of electrical shock and fire hazards. Inspect your extension cord regularly for wear and tear, including frayed or damaged insulation or exposed wires. If you notice any damage, replace the extension cord immediately.
Are you looking to use an extension cord? Hold on! Ensure you review the tips mentioned above before connecting any electrical device to a cord. Additionally, remember that extension cords should only serve as a temporary power solution for an outlet. If you need a more permanent power solution in Waldorf, MD, contact the team at Circuit Doctors for top-notch electrical compliance code upgrades.