Safety Measures to Consider While Using Extension Power Cords

Extension power cords are a part of our everyday life. They are utilized at homes and workplaces for a number of purposes like plugging in decorative lights, extra audio systems, space heaters etc. These cords are available in traditional stores as well as online. Before buying these, you must know the purpose of buying and get information about their power and voltage.

If you read the informational paper by IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers), it provides instructions about the safety measures to undertake while using Extension Power Cords. So here’s what you shouldn’t do with them.

Follow extension cord limits

Each extension cord comes with its specific wattage and it is important to follow these limits. There are chances of a fire mishap if the extension cord is overloaded. This happens a lot in offices that use space heaters. Cheap extension cords have internal wiring that is size 18 gauge and it is rated only for 10 amps. A 1500 watt space heater draws 12.5 and that’s where overloading happens. To avoid this, the extension cord can be plugged directly to the wall with a lower gauge extension. The lower the gauge, the larger the wire and amp capacity.

Keep the surroundings safe

While buying an extension cord, keep the surroundings and foot traffic in mind. If it is longer, it is better to store it out of the way as someone might trip and fall. Also do not use nails or tape for securing the extension cord. The National Electrical Code bans the usage of extension cords instead of permanent wiring (NEC 400.8(1) – 2014). You can also follow the rules laid down by OSHA. (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

Avoid daisy chaining

It is better to buy an extension cord of the right length instead of stringing two extension cords together. If you try to extend the cord by applying ‘Daisy Chaining’ you will run the risk of creating a fire hazard. So avoid this at all costs.

Don’t wall-mount extension cords

When electrical equipment like projectors is mounted on the ceiling of a meeting room, it is important for it to have a receptacle mounted flush with the ceiling. Moreover, the unit’s power cord should be seen at all times. If that is not followed, accidents are sure to happen.

Extension Cords are great when you want convenience and need an easy way to connect multiple devices. However, using them wrong can create a lot of hazards. So consider these safety measures before you go for buying an extension power cord. You can also take advice from experts as to what type of extension cord will suit your needs the best.