Extension Cord Safety
With Christmas come multiple strands of lights, little villages, space heaters, candle warmers, and much more. All of these items need to be plugged in which leads to the use of extension cords. While extension cords can be helpful with decorations, adding seasonal items with normal household appliances such as the tv/radio, microwaves, blow dryers, etc. often lead to overloaded circuits. Follow these safety tips to make sure you are safely and properly using those extension cords.
- Do not overload extension cords or allow them to run through water or on the ground.
- Do not substitute extension cords for permanent wiring.
- Do not use an extension cord for more than one item.
- Multiple plug outlets must be plugged directly into mounted electrical receptacle; they cannot be chained together.
- Make sure the extension cord or temporary power strip you sue is rated for the products to be plugged in, and is marked for either indoor or outdoor use.
- The appliance or tool that you are using the cord with will have a wattage rating on it. Match this up with your extension cord, and do not use a cord that has a lower rating.
- Never use a cord that feels hot or is damaged in any way. Touching even single exposed strand can give you an electric shock or burn.
- Buy only cords approved by an independent testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), ETL-SEMKO (ETL), or Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
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