Playing With Fire: How to Avoid Power Cord Safety Hazards

Although power cords are very convenient, they can also be dangerous. Over 3,000 fires are started in
homes each year because of the misuse of extension cords. And as if this statistic isn't scary enough,
there are also over 4,000 extension cord injuries annually that are severe enough to cause a visit to the
emergency room. Because of this, it is crucial that you understand what safety hazards you should be
looking out for when you use them.

Overloaded Extension Cords
Most extension cords have three to four outlets on them, so people often think that it is alright to plug-in several devices to each of them at the same time. But this isn't how they were meant to be used. And you also shouldn't connect several of the cords together to reach an appliance. Doing either of these things will overload extension cords, since they aren't designed to carry this much current through them. And this could start a fire.

Modified Extension CordsOccasionally, a person will try to change an extension cord that has three prongs by cutting off one
prong. The reason that this is commonly done is that outlets in close proximity are only designed for
two-pronged plugs. But changing an extension cord in any way can result in shock or electrocution. If
there isn't a proper outlet for the extension cord, then a new extension cord should be purchased from
a site like Americord that will fit it properly.

Using Extension Cords near Water
Water and electricity don't mix. They are a dangerous combination because electric current can travel through water easily. It is vital that extension cords never be used in areas where they could be splashed with water or covered in ice or snow. The water could cause the cord to short-out or shock a person that was trying to use it.

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Using Extension Cords for Permanent Wiring Extension cords are meant to be used on a temporary basis only. So they should never be strung through the wall to permanently connect light fixtures or appliances. Continued stress on them will cause them to wear out. And if this happens, they will get very hot, which could result in a fire. For more information on how to use extension cords safely, consult with a local certified electrician. And remember, if you are having to frequently use extension cords, it could mean that you need more electrical outlets installed in your house. So have the electrician do a walk-through of your home to determine what changes need to be made.

Guest Post:
By: Dixie Somers



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