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4 Extension Cord Safety Tips for a Safe New Year

wilcox-electric-dc-Baby-Playing-With-Electric-cordsWhile the holiday season is the perfect time for decorating your home with colorful indoor and outdoor lighting, heavy use of indoor and outdoor extension cords can also occur year round. If extension cords are misused, they can start a fire or cause other kinds of damage to your home. Here are four extension cord safety tips to protect your home during the holidays and all throughout the year.

Use the Right Extension Cord

Ensure that you have the right extension cord for your needs. Indoor cords should only be used inside, and outdoor cords should only be used outside. For indoor lights and small appliances, use two-wire extension cords. For outdoor lights, use three-wire extension cords that have a ground line. Check to make sure the extension cords you use are Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved. 

The extension cord you use should be compatible with your home’s plug sockets. Avoid using a plug adapter to make the extension cord work, as doing so may increase the risk for fire or electrocution. Before you purchase an extension cord, carefully read the packaging and instructions. Check that the extension cord’s load is appropriate for the number of lights or devices you are plugging into it to avoid potential overheating. 

Inspect Extension Cords Before Use

Inspect an extension cord for signs of damage before use. If there are cracks in the insulation or exposed inner wires, don’t use it. Safely dispose of damaged extension cords by bringing them to an e-waste recycler in your area. Keep cords uncovered during use to prevent damage. Extension cords should not operate while under rugs or furniture or while still coiled. 

Minimize Tripping Hazards

When using extension cords, make sure they are secured away from areas where people usually walk. You can secure them up against interior and exterior walls to help minimize tripping. Use high visibility extension cords in bright neon colors to make them easier to see. Use the right extension cord length to ensure no excess cord where people can trip and fall.

Store Extension Cords Properly

Consider an extension cord a temporary solution. If you need power for a lengthy period, you should consult an electrician to install permanent wiring. When you are finished using an extension cord, make sure to coil or wrap it in the same way it came in its packaging. Hang the extension cord somewhere safe to protect it from moisture and other damage.

Electrical Service Solutions for Extension Cord Safety

An easy way to keep your home safe from accidental misuse of extension cords is to install more outlets inside and outside your home. You can use these outlets throughout the year to take care of all your household projects. Make sure to use a licensed electrician to install your new outlets properly.

If you would like to know more about the electrical services provided by Wilcox Electric, get in touch with us today to help you have a safe and happy new year.