Extension cords give you the convenience of placing electronics wherever you would like. Although extension cords are simple and easy to use, there are some safety precautions that should be taken.
- Make sure that the electronic you are plugging into the extension cord does not have a higher wattage than the wattage rating on the extension cord.
- Use three-wire extension cords for appliances that have three-prong plugs.
- Never use cracked or worn extension cords. Prevent damage to extension cords by not bending or twisting.
- Do not run an extension cord under a rug or carpet. This could cause a fire due to the heat build-up and friction.
- Never use an extension cord that feels hot.
- Only buy extension cords that have been approved by a testing laboratory (Underwriters, ETL-SEMKO, etc.)
- If you need to use an extension cord outside, make sure it is labeled for outdoor use.
Each year, there are around 2,000 injuries associated with electrical extension cords (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission). These safety tips will not only protect you from shock and other injuries, but also can help prevent electrical fires in your home. Remember that extension cords are not meant to be used as a main source of power for major appliances in your home - they should not be substituted for permanent wiring.
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