Extension cords can be a convenient way to add more electrical devices to an outlet. However, if they are used without proper caution they can pose a risk to your personal safety and the safety of others at your community. Extension cords are intended for temporary wiring solutions.
To prevent your extension cords from becoming a fire hazard, please follow these tips to stay safe in your apartment:
Selecting an extension cord
- Read the instructions for information about correct use and power of the cord.
- Select cords that are rated to the correct wattage of your devices. Gauge indicates wire size, the smaller the gauge means the larger the wire and the more current it will handle.
- Only choose cords with polarized or three-pronged plugs.
- For smaller electronics, use thin or flat cords. For larger appliances, use thick, round and low-gauge cords.
Using extension cords
- Never, never, never remove a prong or a pin to fit it into an outlet.
- Avoid powering too many appliances with one cord. One cord per appliance is recommended. Do not plug multiple cords together.
- Never use indoor extension cords outdoors.
- Do not run extension cords under rugs or heavy furniture.
- Stop using an extension cord if it feels hot to the touch.
Caring for extension cords
- Store extension cords indoors in a dry environment.
- Pull the plug – not the cord – when removing it from the outlet.
- Throw away damaged, torn, chewed, or frayed extension cords.
These suggestions are not a complete list of every safety measure and should not replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer. Please use best judgment and consideration when using electrical extension cords in your apartment. If you have questions or concerns regarding the use of extension cords, please call our maintenance team.
Come back next month for more maintenance and safety tips from Hard Hats and Tool Belts.
Flickr Image Courtesy of cogdogblog