Finding ways to transfer electricity from one place to another can be tricky. The easiest & most common way to do this is through an extension cord. While convenient, extension cords can be extremely dangerous. Nearly 3,300 house fires are caused each year by improper extension cord use.
Here are a few tips to make sure you & your family stay safe:
Do Not Overload
Extension cords are made to transfer a safe and accurate amount of electricity at a time. Placing too many extension cords into one multi-plug can cause it to overheat. While this seems like a simple solution, it is a big fire hazard.
Connecting extension cords is also a form of overloading that can put you at risk of fire or electrical shock. One extension cord is designed to carry a certain amount of electricity a certain distance. Attaching multiple extension cords to one another might seem like the easiest way to increase this distance, but it is definitely not the safest. Joining two or more extension cords creates heat that can damage the cords insulation. This is a not only a fire hazard, but it also puts you at risk of electrical shock.
Be Sure Extension Cords have Clear Pathways
It is important to be aware of the route you are running your extension cord. If using an extension cord outside, be sure the path is not cluttered & clear of standing water. When running an extension cord indoors, do not place furniture or rugs over the cord as this can create a fire hazard.
Be Aware of Outlets
Three prong plugs are not designed to fit into an outlet that only has two prong openings. Removing the ground pin to make the cord fit is very dangerous. The purpose of the ground pin is to absorb electrical shocks if you happen to touch a faulty appliance. By removing the pin, you are at a much higher risk of shock.
Do Your Research
By doing your research and choosing the right extension cords to meet your needs, you can take a big step in improving the safety of your home. It is important to know the amount of power you need because all devices have different electricity demands. Educating yourself on the devices you are supplying power to is one of the most effective ways to prevent extension cord problems.
Extension cords are a temporary solution. A heavy reliance on extension cords could mean your home needs more outlets to support your electrical needs. We can help! Our electricians will evaluate your electrical use & make recommendations for installing additional outlets in your home. If you have concerns about your homes electrical safety, we also offer comprehensive electrical safety inspections to put your mind at ease. Give us a call or schedule service online and we will make sure your home is safe for you and your family this electrical safety month.