Extension cords vary in length, size (wire gauge), wattage, thickness, and materials used depending on the manufacturer. While some are for indoors, others are for outdoors. As such you have to note the following tips on how to use them safely before you plug in to save you from possible injuries and/or property damages.
5 Ways of Using Extension Cords for Your Protection
1. Check the labels.
As previously mentioned, not all extension cords are the same. Though they may seem similar in appearance, you cannot plug your electric appliances to them quickly without knowing how they should work. Often when you buy an extension cord, it comes with important information such as ampere, wattage and voltage ratings. Take note of it.
Aside from knowing which devices you can plug in and the number of devices in the extension cord, you should also read through the labels that are on the cord itself. The wattage rating is most important. Don’t think that you can plug in your TV, computer, microwave and refrigerator at the same time just because you see that there are four outlets available in the extension cord. Each cord in varying lengths has a different capacity. Usually the larger the wire is, the more power it can hold.
Households normally use extension cords inside the house. But for those who have a swimming pool, garden, patio and garage area, you might also need to connect your appliance or electrical device to extension cords particularly when no socket outlet is available outdoors. So note whether the extension cords you are considering to purchase would be suitable for outdoor use else it might result to fire hazard or electric shocks.
When not in use, organize your extension cords inside as they will be prone to deterioration faster when not organized and kept.
3. Plug extension cords completely.
Most of the time, we do not notice that our plugs are loosely connected to our outlets or extension outlets. This may cause grounding, malfunctions and if prolonged, burns. We had encountered this ourselves. Due to our extension cord being used here and there in our home, the plugs connected to it got loose. One day, we noticed one of the outlets was already blackish.
4. Store extension cords properly.
Besides using the extension cords suitably indoors and outdoors, you should also know where it’s safest to place them. For instance, some of the best examples are under light furniture and empty spaces. The worst places to put the extensions cords are below the sofa, underneath the rugs and those hidden places that can be most untidy as they will be damaged easily and have exposed wires which make your house susceptible to burns.
You won’t be using all outlets at the same time all the time. Also, you might want to save inactive or passive electric energy that adds on to your electricity bill. So when unused, cover the outlets with outlet covers. This is also a way to prevent your children and/or pets from harm and hazards.
Your family is most important and to keep them safe, run through this checklist for using your extension cords safely. Take precautions on overheating issues and go to your electrician for advice when such problems occur.