Most homeowners don’t realize the hazards of using extension cords. In this article, we’d like to discuss extension cord safety.
All too often, we’ve seen homeowners who’ve used an extension cord in setting up a receptacle within the attic as a means to wiring ceiling fans. With this solution, all it takes to make the fans work is simply plugging the cord into the receptacle. While this may be an easy solution, as an alternative to hiring a professional electrician, eventually, the cord will deteriorate, creating a potentially harmful electric shock which can be a fire hazard.
Incidents like this have pushed industry experts from all corners of the world to discourage the use of extension cords in lieu of permanent wiring, especially at home. To them, using an extension cord for longterm use for wiring appliances or gadgets at home is likely an accident waiting to take place. According to the approved National Electrical Code, the use of extension cords is a hazardous and unsafe wiring method.
Nevertheless, a lot of people can still be seen using them because of the convenience it offers in bringing power to electronic devices. Among the various options in the market, the three-wire outdoor type which comes in a variety of colors has been the topmost selling.
While using extension cords initially appears to be a solution, its safety remains a big question. Proper caution in using it is vital. Otherwise, they can easily turn into fire hazards and pose threats to you and your family’s safety.
Below are tips to help keep your comfort zone safe when using extension cords:
· Buy only cords approved by an accredited testing laboratory.
· If you are going to use it outdoors, buy only extension cords appropriate for outdoor usage.
· Be keen on the amount of power the extension cord draws.
· Carefully read the user manual, if available.
· Choose cords that are rated to bear with the wattage of appliances they will be used for. You will know the cord’s size by checking its gauge. If the number printed is smaller, the larger the wire is, the more it is capable of handling the demanded wattages.
· Buy the cord with length that is quite more than what you will need to refrain from stretching it which can cause fire. However, do not overdo it. Longer cords may not be able to deliver as much current compared to the shorter ones.
· Three-prong or polarized plugs are a plus.
· If you are going to use it for larger appliances, make sure the cord you chose is round, thick, and has a low gauge. Meanwhile, for smaller appliances and devices, flat or thin cords can already do the job.
· Removing the grounding pin of an extension cord is a big NO. This has been a common practice to fit the cord into a two-prong outlet. As harmless as it seems, it actually increases the likelihood of turning into a fire hazard.
· Powering multiple devices and appliances with one cord is dangerous.
· Indoor extension cords are strictly for indoor use only.
· Multiple cords must never be plugged together.
· Extension cords must neither be placed under furniture or rugs nor be taped to floors or nailed to surfaces.
· When in use, the cords must remain unbent or uncoiled.
· Childproof covers should be used to cover unused cord receptacles.
· If the cords already feel hot to touch, unplug the tip right away.
· Make sure the cords are stored indoors.
· Unplugging them is the safest habit to make whenever they are not being used.
· Damaged cords must be disposed of right away.
· When disconnecting the cord from the outlet, pull the plug carefully and not the cord.
Extension cords are not a valid alternative to proper wiring. They are intended for temporary use only. Don’t play with danger; have our professional and highly experienced residential electricians in Denver set up your permanent wirings with quality and reliability. Here at ElectriCall, we’ve got all your electric service needs covered. Dial our number today!