If you are like most Genesee County homeowners, you use extension cords for a variety of electrical needs and probably don’t think much about it. But every year, approximately 3,300 home fires originate with the extension cords, resulting in more than 50 deaths and 270 injuries.
This year’s edition of Electrical Safety Illustrated, put out by the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) during National Electrical Safety Month (which is this month) cautions homeowners about the dangers of using extension cords improperly or for unintended purposes. First and foremost, if you find that you are relying heavily on extension cords for your daily electrical needs, it probably means that your home does not have a sufficient amount of outlets. If that is the case, you should call an electrician to come out to your Flushing, Grand Blanc, or Flint home to install additional outlets where needed, and reduce your need for extension cords.
The ESFI offers several other tips for homeowners with regard to extension cords that we thought were important to pass along as Genesee County electricians:
- Never plug extension cords into one another. Use a single cord that is long enough to do the job, and never use more than one extension cord per outlet.
- Only use an extension cord that is properly rated for its intended use (indoor or outdoor), and provides enough power (amperage) for the appliance or device with which it is being used. When using an outdoor cord, always plug it into an outlet that is equipped with a ground fault circuit interrupter.
- Always inspect the entire cord for damage before using. If there are any loose or bare wires or loose connections, do not use!
- Never nail an extension cord to your walls or baseboards. If you need to secure an extension cord out of the way, use electrical tape.
- Only purchase and use extension cords that are approved by an independent testing laboratory, like Underwriters Laboratory (UL).
- Keep extension cords exposed. Don’t hide them under rugs or run them through walls or ceilings. Heat needs to be allowed to escape from extension cords, or they can become a fire hazard.
- Don’t try to force a three-pronged extension cord to fit into a two-slot outlet by removing the ground pin. This could result in an electrical shock.
Extension cords can be a helpful tool for Genesee County homes, but only if used properly. Observe these safety tips to help keep your home free from electrical fires and protect your family from dangerous electrical shocks. If you are in need of an electrician in Genesee County to help rid you of your dependence on extension cords, or to help you with any other electrical need that requires a professional electrician, contact Electrician Express through our website or by phone today!