Extension cords are commonly utilized in home, office, and shop settings. The use and maintenance of extension cords can be ignored or taken for granted. There are potential hazards associated with extension cords, such as trips and falls, electric shocks, and fires. Here are some tips regarding extension cord use:
Use extension cords only for temporary or seasonal terms less than 90 days. They should not be used as a substitute for fixed electrical wiring.
Check for the UL listing on any extension cord before using.
Avoid kinking or excessive bending of the cord to prevent wire strands from breaking. Damaged cords should be repaired by a qualified electrician or replaced.
Know which type of extension cord to use, i.e. cords for portable tools come in different grades. Some cords have rubber or plastic covering for when the cord is used in areas with oils or solvents.
Connect flexible cords to devices and fittings so the tension will not be transmitted to joints or terminal screws.
Do not overuse extension cords as they may overload the electrical system, causing short circuits, circuit failures, fires, or machine failures.
Do not run cords through holes in walls or through doorways. Arrange cords so they don’t create a tripping hazard. Pick them up when not in use.
Ensure the ground pin is attached on the plug for those designed to be grounded.
Plug extension cords directly into the electrical outlets. If necessary, use a single power strip plugged directly into the electrical receptacle.