How to Use Extension Cords Properly to Prevent Electrical Hazards

When you think of things that might be dangerous to your family, you probably think of everything from drunk drivers and burglars to second-hand smoke and trans fats, but right now there may very well be an item in your home that you’ve never thought of as dangerous before: the extension cord. In fact, thousands of injuries are caused every year because of extension cords. While these cords can be extremely useful, they must be used properly at all times to avoid electrical hazards.

Prevent These Electrical Dangers by Using Your Extension Cords with Care

Fires – Overloaded, misused, and damaged cords are responsible for many residential fires. Here’s how you can keep your extension cord from starting a fire:

  • Use extension cords for temporary use only. If you find that you constantly need an extension cord to run a particular appliance or electronic, have your local electrician install a new outlet in a place that is convenient for that item.
  • Keep extension cords away from heaters and radiators.
  • When an extension cord becomes damaged, frayed, or cracked, discard it immediately. Don’t bother to “repair” an extension cord with tape—it’s not safe.
  • Avoid overloading your electrical sockets.
  • Don’t use a light-duty extension cord to power a high energy-consuming appliance such as a freezer or air conditioner.
  • If your extension cord is hot to the touch while being used, replace it with a higher gauge wire.
  • Only use extension cords designed for outdoor use outside your home. Interior extension cords are not made to withstand the elements.

Electrical Burns – Small children are unaware of the dangers of extension cords. When children put a cord in their mouth they may suffer serious burns.

  • Avoid using extension cords at all-around small children and babies.
  • If you do use them, keep them far out of reach. Make sure the extension cord doesn’t dangle off a table where it can be pulled on.

Tripping – Extension cords are easy to trip on when placed in the wrong areas. Prevent a sprain, laceration, concussion, or broken bone by choosing the placement of your cords carefully.

  • Don’t run extension cords under rugs.
  • Run cords along walls and baseboards.
  • Thread cords behind tables and other furniture so that they are out of the way.
  • Never run a cord through an area that people commonly walkthrough.
  • Remember that it may be dark outside your home at night and visitors may not be able to see extension cords. Keep them clear of walkways.

At Pipes & Plugs, we are committed to electrical safety at all times. We work hard to perform electrical upgrades in Lafayette, New Iberia, and Abbeville to make homes safer and more efficient. For electrical outlet installation or any other electrical service, give us a call today!