Tips for Safely Using Extension Cords

extension cords

Did you know that your extension cords could become potential fire hazards if you aren’t careful

during usage? Extension cords are useful tools that can help you to have power when an outlet doesn’t exist where you’d like to perform a particular task or activity. These cords seem simple enough to use, but if safety is lax, a disaster could occur pretty quickly. It’s helpful to know how to limit fire hazards when using extension cords, whether heavy-duty or lightweight. Here are some useful tips for you to remember.

Only Buy Extension Cords That are Certified Safe

You want to ensure that your extension cords are certified safe, and this begins with buying extension cords produced by reputable manufacturers. This way, you know what you are getting in a cord. You can expect extension cords from reputable manufacturers to pass through a series of quality control and safety assessments by particular safety certification laboratories, like  UL, CSA, and ETL. Certification from one of these independent regulatory agencies typically includes the logo of the testing agency on the product label. Avoid buying extension cords that do not have a seal from one of these testing agencies or similar organizations. 

Buy the Right Size Extension Cord

The gauge, or the measurement of the wire inside the extension cord, and the cord’s length are both connected, in that, the bigger the gauge, the more power is supplied by the extension cord. The thicker and longer the extension cord, the more power it can carry. Attempting to create a longer cord by attaching a couple of shorter ones is a fire hazard waiting to happen or you could destroy the cords by causing them to melt. Don’t do it. 

Make Sure Your Extension Cord Supports Your Appliance or Tool

When it comes to amp and wattage, devices have a set number and this is useful when buying an extension cord to use the device. Extension cords typically feature amps or wattage they’re designed to supply. Those numbers should be compatible with those listed on the appliance or tool. Using the wrong cord can lead to dangerous overheating.

Avoid Overloading Your Extension Cord

You might be tempted to plug multiple devices into your extension cord, but before you do, check the amp requirements and ensure that the total energy requirements of the devices do not exceed the wattage provided by the extension cord. It’s possible for overheating and fire to occur if two many devices are attached to the cord. 

Do Not Cover Your Extension Cord

An extension cord that is covered or enclosed is prevented from releasing the generated heat from the electricity from escaping as it travels through the cord. This is a fire hazard. Keep your extension cord visible and never run it under a rug, box, bookcase, or through a wall.

An extension cord may be the temporary solution you need for powering your device. Brunelli Electrician is in the business of making life better for you with the tools you need to get the job done. We provide friendly and dependable service to all our customers. Give us a call today at 508-400-5571 or fill out a contact form

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