9 Things To NEVER Do With An Extension Cord

A charger plug attached to an electrical socket

(BlackDoctor.org) — Extension cords are a convenient way to extend power to electrical devices. Used without proper caution, however, they can become a fire hazard and pose a risk to your personal safety. Use these tips to help keep your household safe:

Selecting Extension Cords

• Purchase cords approved by an independent testing laboratory. Read the device’s instruction manual for information about its use and the amount of power it draws when running.

• For outside projects, use extension cords marked for outdoor use.

• Select extension cords rated to handle the wattage drawn by the device. A cord’s gauge indicates its size: The smaller the gauge, the larger the wire and the more electrical current the cord can safely handle.

• Consider the length of the extension cord you’ll need. Longer cords carry less electrical current than shorter cords of the same gauge.

• Select cords with polarized or three-prong plugs.

• To power larger appliances, select thick, round, low-gauge extension cords. For smaller appliances and electronics, choose thin, sometimes flat cords.

Extension Cord Don’ts:

• Don’t remove the grounding pin to fit a two-prong outlet.
• Don’t power multiple devices with one cord.
• Don’t use indoor extension cords outdoors.
• Don’t plug multiple extension cords together.
• Don’t run extension cords under rugs or furniture.
• Don’t tape extension cords to floors.
• Don’t attach cords to surfaces with staples or nails.
• Don’t bend or coil extension cords when in use.

• Don’t use extension cords that feel hot to the touch.

Caring for Extension Cords:

• Cover unused extension cord receptacles with childproof plugs.
• Store cords indoors.
• Unplug extension cords when not in use.
• Throw away damaged extension cords.

• Pull the plug—not the cord—to disconnect from an outlet.

Extension cords are temporary wiring solutions. If you’re using extension cords for permanent power, consider updating your home’s electrical system.