Think Safe: Extension Cords

Because extension cords are such common items that many of us use in our homes, we often don’t consider the fact that they can expose us to electrical hazards. Here are a few tips when it comes to using extension cords safely in your home.

  • Check your extension cords regularly, and prior to each use. Specifically, you’re going to want to look for kinks in the cord, cuts or frays. If you find any damage to the cord, throw it away and buy a new one!

  • Extension cords are often used to power outdoor patio lights or Christmas lights. NEVER staple or nail a cord in place — this can cause damage to the cord, exposing the conductors within and, thus, exposing you to electrical shock. Twist-ties or zip-ties designed specifically for supporting something like an extension cord should be used instead.

  • Only use the cords for their intended purpose.

  • Make sure you use the proper extension cord for the application. This not only includes length and gauge, but also whether or not it is rated for indoor use only or if it also rated for outdoor conditions.

  • When unplugging the cord, pull it out at the outlet, don’t yank the cord. Doing so can damage the extension cord and pull the conductors free of the plug.

  • Be careful not to trip on the extension cord when it is in use. We recommend using a bright extension cord that is easy to see. In fact, we exclusively use bright extension cords on the job because slips trips and falls are the NUMBER ONE cause of injury on a construction site! Our goal is to be 100% injury-free, and we want you to have that same standard at home.

  • Do not use an extension cord to provide permanent power. This will cause the cord to wear out and could create a shock or fire hazard. If you are providing permanent power to something (appliance, that living room lamp since the receptacles mysteriously stopped working, etc.) call Winema Electric, Inc. We can troubleshoot existing circuits and install new electrical circuits for whatever your needs may be.

If you have any safety concerns related to extension cords or other electrical systems in your home, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time. And, as always - stay safe!