Extension Cord Safety

Extension Cord Safety
Statistic
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSO) estimates
that each year about 3,300 residential fires originate in extension
cords, killing about 50 people and injuring 270 others. The most
frequent causes of such fires are short circuits, overloading,
damage, and/or misuse of extension cords.
1
Extension Cord Safety
►Don’t use extension cord as permanent wiring. Meaning, extension cord
should be used for transient condition, not for day-in day-out usage.
►Reasons: Extension cord is designed for temporary or short term usage.
Continuous usage can cause overheating and the insulation sheath to melt
and cord to short circuit.
►Alternatives:
1.) Use power strip or surge protector with UL rating
2.) If possible, arrange items closer to outlet
Don’t
connect one
extension
cord to
another
2
Does this look like
your office?
Extension Cord Safety
►Don’t cover an extension cord or run it under a
rug or carpet
►Reasons: As electrical current passes through
the wire/cord, electrical resistance causes
voltage drop and heating of the wire. Covering
the cord can trap heat and overheat the cord.
This trapped heat can damage the cord and lead
to a fire.
Don’t run
electrical cord
thru doorway
3
Extension Cord Safety
►Don’t use extension
cord that is cut, frayed,
damaged or has
exposed wiring
►Reasons: Touching the
exposed wiring can give
you an electric shock or
burn. Also, the cord can
overheat and short
circuit without the proper
sheath insulation.
4
Extension Cord Safety
► Don’t repair exposed wiring by taping the cord with
duct or electrical tape
►Reasons: Taping doesn’t provide adequate
insulation. You have to wrap the tape 100+ times
around the cord to match the integrity of the original
insulation sheath. Inadequate insulation can cause
overheating and short circuit.
5
Extension Cord Safety
►Don’t use extension cord or surge protector for high-energy demand
appliances and equipment such as refrigerator, microwave oven,
space heater, toaster and copy machine.
►Reason: The energy demand for these devices often exceed the
cord’s/surge protector’s load capacity, causing overloading,
overheating, and the cord to short circuit.
►Alternative: If possible, arrange the device so that it can be plugged
directly into a wall outlet.
Not a good idea
6
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