Out of all the wiring devices in the Philippines, extension cords are probably one of the most flexible, and not just because they are usually quite long. Extension cords are considered to be flexible because unlike other wiring devices, you can take them anywhere! You can use them in any area of your house, and are also useful outside of your home.
Extension cords are very helpful but they too have limits. Without proper maintenance, you can damage your extension cords and, worse, put your life at risk. In order to avoid falling victim to electrical hazards, take care of your extension cords by following the safety tips below.
There are a lot of dos and don’ts when it comes to extension cords. One of the major don’ts is overloading, meaning plugging in too many devices at the same time. One could argue that this is exactly what it’s made for, but to be on the safe side avoid overloading your extension cord anyway. If you are not careful, overloading can lead to electrical fires.
Use it For Temporary Wiring
Rearranging appliances and furniture can be tricky, especially when you consider the wiring. Let’s say for example that a party will be held at your house and you want to place a certain appliance on a specific area, but since its cord is too short, you end up using an extension cord. This is fine if the arrangement is temporary.
However, extension cords are not recommended for permanent wiring arrangements. If one of your appliances has a short plug, you should install sockets instead of using extension cords.
Make Sure It’s Safe
There are plenty of extension cords in the market but be careful when shopping for one. Before making a purchase, make sure that the extension cord you choose is rated for the appliances that you plan to plug on it. You also need to ensure that your new cord is marked for indoor and outdoor (some extension cords are not safe to use outdoors). An unsafe extension cord might be cheaper, but it increases the risk of electrical threats – when you think about it, it’s not really worth it.
Beware of Damaged Cords
Improper use of extension cords can cause damage. Through time, you might notice that the wire of your cord has become frayed, exposing the strands inside. This can be dangerous because contact to the exposed wiring underneath the sheath insulation can cause electric shocks and burns. To avoid this, make sure not to run your cords through doorways and avoid using staples or nails to attach the cord to any surface. Aside from frayed wires, you also have to watch out for other damages like overheating and short circuit.
Don’t Run Cords Under Carpets
This is pretty basic although plenty of people still refuse to follow this: do not run extension cords under carpets or cover them with rugs. Why? When current passes through your cord, electrical resistance causes two things: voltage drop and heating of the wire. If you cover your extension cord with rug or carpet, it might trap the heat and result to overheating. In turn, overheating will not only damage your cord, it can also lead to electrical fire!
Like any wiring device, it’s important to take care of your extension cords. Follow the safety tips above to make sure that your extension cords are in good condition at all times. This will not only prevent you from buying new cords often, it will also keep you and your appliances safe from electrical problems.