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How to Be Safe When You Use Extension Cords

It’s both common and convenient to connect electrical devices to extension cords. However, it’s important to remember that when they are not used properly, they pose dangers to your safety.

Fire Hazard

When used improperly, extension cords can overheat and cause fires. The cord can become overheated if appliances are plugged into it that consume more watts than it can handle or if they are overloaded with power. A damaged extension cord can also cause a fire, and you should only use extension cords for temporary purposes. The following provides some additional tips for extension cord safety.

How to Select Extension Cords

Extension cord safety starts with selecting the right cord in the first place. Make sure that you only purchase cords that have been approved by an independent testing laboratory. If you are in need of a cord to use outdoors while enjoying the great weather in Modesto, only use cords that are designed specifically for the outdoors.

It’s also important to make sure that the cord is rated to handle the device’s wattage. Typically, the smaller the gauge number, the larger the wire and the higher the voltage the cord can handle safely. The length of the cord you need is important, as longer cords cannot handle as much current as shorter cords. If you want to know how to use the cord correctly and how much power it consumes, read the instructions.

The best extension cord for large appliances is thick, round, and low gauge. Flat or thin cords are best for small appliances and electronics. Regardless of what you are using it for, you should always choose polarized or three-pronged extension cords.

How to Use Extension Cords Safely

You should never remove the grounding pin from an extension cord so that you can plug it into a two-prong outlet. Doing so can pose a fire risk. It’s also not advised to power multiple appliances with one cord at the same time, and plugging multiple extension cords together is a bad idea.

Here are some additional safety tips:

  • Do not use an extension cord outside if it was designed for indoor use.
  • Don’t run extension cords under rugs or furniture.
  • Extension cords should never be taped to floors or nailed or stapled to any surface.
  • Cords shouldn’t be bent or coiled while in use.
  • Make sure any unused cord receptacles are safely covered with childproof covers.
  • You should never use any extension cord that feels hot to the touch.

Before wrapping up, it’s important to note that having to use extension cords is often a sign of a larger problem. If you have to rely on extra cords to get the power you need, you probably lack enough outlets in your home. At The Electric Company, we can give you an electrical upgrade so that you don’t have to rely on electrical cords in your Modesto home. For all of your electrical needs or more in-depth info all about safe extension cord use in Modesto, contact us today. We’re here to help you with all of your electrical safety and repair issues.

For a professional electrician to service your lighting in Modesto, CA, call our team at The Electric Company today: (406) 760-1818!

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