Because they’re so handy we tend to forget that extension cords are meant to be our helpers not permanent fixtures – they are not a substitute for permanent wiring.
When you’re finished put them away.
There are some things that you just should not do with extension cords. The most important issues relate to the build-up of heat. If a cord is covered or in a position where there is little or no airflow, then heat can build up which is how electrical fires can start.
Never join an extension cord is one of the soundest electrical safety tips.
You may think that they are serving a purpose in the position they’re in but all that needs to happen is for them to be exposed to heat or water and big problems can occur. You shouldn’t use extension cords for more than one appliance and you certainly should not join or ‘piggyback’ extension cords. Joining cords is called a Daisy chain power outlet and it’s dangerous.It may not be the main extension cord rules is to not daisy chain power outlets. If there is a drop in your voltage then that will compromise your circuit breakers and safety switches. As a result of joining extension cords you may get a drop in voltage. It is possible for them to become ineffectual. If that happens you could damage your appliances or worse still, have a fire on your hands.
They’re not a substitute for permanent wiring.
Don’t use an extension cord for more than one appliance. That means don’t go plugging double adaptors into them to double their workload. As we’ve already mentioned, heat is the number one enemy of the extension cord so running them through ceilings, under floors or into walls is just asking for trouble. Those three are among the hottest spots in the home.
It’s hard to believe that this happens but it does. Don’t staple or nail your extension cord to the wall. Obviously, that can damage the internal wiring which mat at best, damage an appliance and at its worst, cause a fire.
The same applies to fixing them between doorways or across thoroughfares. They are a trip hazard, in both meanings of the word. And they’re not designed to be walked on all day. They will wear and potentially split to expose their wiring which really isn’t good.
Not enough outlets?
They really are wonderful things extension cords. They will get you out of all sorts of problems. But they really need to be folded up and put away for next time. You probably have a few different extension cords of different lengths and think that’s pretty good, and it is. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can use them all the time and get away with it. You clearly don’t have enough power outlets if that is your thinking.
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