Extension cords are practical tools when you need that extra length for your new lamp, Christmas lights, or any DIY project. Every year, however, thousands of people worldwide suffer from injuries associated with extension cords — from tripping to electric shocks and fires. The thing is a majority of these electrical accidents could have been prevented.
Here are some guidelines for checking and caring for your extension cords to avoid potential fires, electric shocks, and other related injuries:
- Extension cords with damaged or cut insulation as well as broken plugs that expose live parts could present potential electric shock or fire hazards. Get a replacement and don’t use that cord anymore.
- All extension cords in use should be cared for and checked on a regular basis for potential deterioration or damage. Every time you plug in an outdoor tool or appliance, you must inspect both the appliance and the extension cord. Never disconnect the cord from the source, always pull it out using the plug because that’s what it’s intended for.
- Take note that extension cords only serve as temporary solutions, meaning that you shouldn’t use them as permanent or long-term electrical connections. Never place them under furniture or rugs, or string them through floors, doorways, ceilings, or walls.
- When exposed to prolonged periods of volatile outdoor conditions, extension cords would eventually deteriorate. Regardless if an extension cord is rated for outdoor or indoor use, store it inside your home when not in use.
- Every time you use an extension cord outdoors, you must always use an isolating transformer or a residual current device (RCD), recommends an electrical testing and repair expert in Wellington. These devices would help safeguard you against electric shocks.
Keep in mind that regardless if you’re using the cord or not, if it’s plugged into an electrical source, it’s still live and conducting electricity. To avoid electrical safety hazards, you should unplug, turn off, and keep extension cords safely. In addition, when you purchase new leads, go for those with advanced safety features like transparent plugs and recessed sockets to help lower the possibility of electrical accidents occurring.