How the Misuse of Extension Cords can Cause Fires, Injuries, and Death

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First of all, you need to be knowledgeable when purchasing an extension cord. You need to determine where you’d be using that extension cord, and for what purposes. Will it be inside or outside the house? What kind of appliances will it be for? What is the wattage of the appliance? Will those appliances be used all at the same time? It is very important to ask these questions because each time you get it right, you are taking a step closer to safety for your home. But if you use extension cords the wrong way, you would be exposing yourself to serious danger. Here are some ways you could misuse your extension cords:

Using an indoor extension cord outdoors, and vice versa.

Extension cords are wired differently for different uses. Make sure to check the label first before using an extension cord.

overload extension cord

Using an appliance that exceeds the wattage capacity of the extension cord.

Of course, the extension cord wouldn’t be able to power your appliance properly, which can cause sparks that can turn into a fire.

child hazards

Placing the extension cord on high-traffic areas.

Placing your extension cord on areas like doorways, staircases, and other places where people frequently go will pose a risk not only to ruining the extension cord, but also bad accidents.

 extension cords

Using an extension cord for long periods of time.

Your extension cord is not Superman; like all other appliances, unplug when not in use. Prolonged use of extension cords will lead to faster deterioration, thus posing a greater risk to harm.

damaged extension cord

Using a damaged or hot extension cord.

This will also expose you to fires and injuries, especially if you touch the exposed inner conductors of a damaged cord. The same goes for using a really old and worn out extension cord. Also, do not use electrical tape to repair an extension set.


Nailing or stapling extension cords.

Electricity wouldn’t flow smoothly with these disturbances in your cord. Plus, since nails and staple wires are conductors of electrical flow, touching these while the extension cord is plugged may electrocute you. And it’s not cute at all.

half plugged extension cords

Half-plugging extension cords.

Touching the prongs of the cord while it is plugged halfway is a common reason why extension cords get burned. Make sure to always insert the plug to the outlet all the way.


Running extension cords through walls or ceilings.

This can cause the cord to overheat, exposing your house to a potential fire.

coiled extension cords

Using coiled cords.

I know, I know, it’s such a hassle to coil and uncoil your extension cord especially if the appliance isn’t THAT far from the outlet. But let me just inform you that using coiled cords also poses a risk to fires, which will turn out to be much more of a hassle in the end.


These precautions may be a lot for an extension cord, but imagine the repercussions when you miss out on any of them. Like they always say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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