Electrical cords are the cause of a lot of accidents and injuries around the home. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) estimates that about 4000 injuries and about 3300 homes have fire accidents as a result of misusing extension cords. There have been around 50 deaths and 270 people injured because of these incidents.
The most common cause of injuries is from tripping over these wires. This has resulted in fractures, contusions sprains, bruises, and lacerations. There are situations where the victims had to be hospitalized.
You do not want to be part of these statistics and the Electric Connection offers some tips on how to use extension cords properly.
- Use extension cords temporarily and not as permanent fixtures. If the cords are used and taken away, the chances of you or others tripping over them are reduced drastically.
- Do not overload an extension cord. The ratings of an extension cord indicate how much load it can carry. Knowing this will guide you on what kind of devices and how many devices you can connect to the cord.
- Use the cord for its indicated use alone. An outdoor extension cord should only be used for outdoor purposes and vice versa. Outdoor cords are usually thicker and built to withstand weather conditions. Using the appropriate cord will help protect you from harm and reduce potential dangers.
- Check each cord before you plug it in. You should inspect the cord for damages such as frayed wires or bent plugs. You should also check for anything that could lead to electrical shocks. If a plug is hot, do not plug it in.
- Run extension cords in open spaces. When you are passing a cord, avoid running it through walls or ceilings. This will help reduce the chances of the cords overheating and posing a fire hazard.
- Avoid placing the cords in places where the insulation might be damaged. There are situations where people run their cords between doors or windows or place them under home furniture. This is wrong as this might cause damage to the wiring and damage the insulation, leading to electrical hazards.
- Use cords in areas with the least amount of people. Passing a cord through a door or a walkway poses the threat of someone tripping over it as these are routes people pass through a lot. You should run your cords along paths with the least human traffic.
- High power devices are not to be connected to extension cords. Microwaves, heaters and the likes draw a lot of power and should be connected to outlets directly and not through cords. This will ensure your cords do not draw more than their rated power.
You should only buy extension cords suitably rated for the load you want to power. If you are connecting multiple devices to an extension cord, you should ensure that their total load doesn’t surpass the cord’s rating.
The Electric Connection can and will provide professional assistance for electrical situations around the home. You can contact us for additional details and questions.