Don't take unnecessary risks with extension cords.

How To Safely Use Extension Cords

October 14th, 2016 by

Don't take unnecessary risks with extension cords.

If you've ever been in a situation where you don't have enough power outlets available, or if you don't have one close enough to the equipment you are trying to hook up, you may have relied on an extension cord.

These are useful tools, and fairly ubiquitous at most hardware stores. But they can become dangerous if not used properly according to safety guidelines:

  • Always use cords that have been approved by independent testers, such as the Canadian Standards Association.
  • Choose cords that are rated for the wattage needed. Each cord has a gauge number, and the lower the number, the more current it can handle.
  • Use the length of cord you need, and no longer.
  • Never remove a cord's grounding pin to fit it into a two-pronged outlet. Use a different outlet that is grounded.
  • Don't plug multiple cords together.
  • Don't run cords under rugs, or staple them to the floor.
  • Only use cords on a short-term basis. They are more vulnerable to wear and tear than permanent wiring, and can pose hazards if frayed. Unplug when not in use.
  • Stop using a cord if it is hot to the touch.

The Council of Canadian Fire Marshals and Fire Commissioners believes that electrical distribution equipment was the source of ignition for 8 percent of all home fires across the country – and 12 percent of those fires where the cause was accurately determined.

Don't take unnecessary risks. If you find yourself relying on extension cords, you may want to rewire your home and move your outlets to more convenient positions.

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