Extension Cord Safety
- Extension cords are meant to be used temporarily. Avoid using extension cords over extended periods of time.
- Do not connect several extension cords together. This can lead to overheating and sparking.
- Use only three-wire extension cords for appliances with three-prong plugs. Never remove the third (round or U-shaped) prong, which is a safety feature designed to reduce the risk of shock and electrocution.
- Do not put extension cords in places where they may get pinched, such as under doors or windows.
- Try to keep slack on extension cords. Tight cords can strain plugs and receptacles and create loose connections.
- When using extension cords across doorways or heavy traffic areas, make sure they are taped to the floor securely so that you do not trip or fall on them.
- Do not staple or nail extension cords. You might damage the insulation made to protect you from the current and potentially expose a wire that may cause sparking or shocks.
- Never unplug an extension cord by pulling on the cord. Always unplug by firmly grasping the plug.
- Know how much your extension cord can handle. If you plug in more than one high-wattage appliance into an extension cord, it may overheat. To find out the wattage on your appliance, read the manual or check the appliance for a label.
- Never use an indoor extension cord outdoors - it could result in an electrical shock or hazard. Extension cords that can be used outdoors will be clearly marked as suitable for outdoor appliances.
- Use special, heavy-duty extension cords for high-wattage appliances, like air conditioners, portable electric heaters and freezers.
- Don't allow cords to come into contact with oil or other corrosive materials.
- Make sure extension cords are connected to Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets, especially around water.
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