How To Stay Safe When Using Extension Cords In Your Home

infographic showing extension cords and explaining extension cord safety

Extension cords are a more dangerous component of electrical work than you might think. They are usually big and thick, much more so than a standard device power cable, and they’re also usually orange or yellow — colors associated with safety warnings. People therefore tend to believe they are somehow safer or better constructed than standard power cables.

Extension Cords Are Not Made For Daily Use

Unfortunately, that isn’t true. As they are made for short-term and emergency use, they are actually often not made as well as the standard appliance or device power cord that has to stand up to daily use. The insulation on them is also often not as thick or robust as it initially appears to be. It can be cracked or damaged easily. Once that happens, you’ve got risks of shock or fire due to contact. As well as the risk of the cable shorting due to moisture getting into it.

Stringing Together Multiple Extension Cords = A Big No-No

Everyone has the anecdotal story about how their dad or uncle used to string together multiple extensions cords to get something out to the yard or garage, and how it never caused any problems. The truth is, dad or Uncle Bob was gambling with their safety and they got lucky.

Stringing together multiple cords can put too much of a strain on them. When they are strained, they overheat. Not only that, the power output will become more prone to fluctuations as they are strung together. Which can damage the device that is plugged into them. Different cords also have different wattage ratings. A cheap one somewhere in the chain might not be rated for what you are trying to do with it.

Trip & Fall

There’s one danger that’s even greater than fires or appliance damage, however: tripping! The majority of accidents caused by extension cords are due to someone taking a spill because of them.

The A-Abel family of companies includes professional electrical work for residences along with roofing, extermination and HVAC. Don’t string cords together trying to get something done. Contact us for professional, efficient and safe service.