Clover Electric Blog

Helpful Electrical Tips and Advice For Your Home

Preventing Extension Cord Fires

Preventing Extension Cord FiresAccording to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) over 3,000 house fires are caused by extension cords each year, killing 50 people and injuring 270.

The key to preventing extension cord fires is to ensure they are kept in good condition and always following these rules:
  •     Don’t plug extension cords into one another
  •     Ensure extension cords are properly rated for their intended use, indoor or outdoor, and meet or exceed the power needs of the device being used
  •     Keep all outdoor extension cords clear of snow and standing water
  •     Do NOT overload extension cords
  •     A heavy reliance on extension cords is an indication that you have too few outlets to address your needs. Have additional outlets installed where you need them
  •     Inspect cords for damage before use. Check for cracked or frayed sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections
  •     Do NOT nail or staple extension cords to walls or baseboards
  •     Do NOT run extension cords through walls, doorways, ceilings, or floors. If a cord is covered, heat cannot escape, which may result in a fire hazard
  •     Never use three-prong plugs with outlets that only have two slots. Never cut off the ground pin to force a fit, which could lead to electric shock
  •     Buy only cords that have been approved by an independent testing laboratory
  •     Do NOT substitute extension cords for permanent wiring
  •     Do NOT use an extension cord or power strip with heaters or fans, which could cause cords to overheat and result in a fire
It's important to remember that extension cords are designed for short term use when an electrical outlet is not nearby. If you're finding that you're using extension cords to plug lamps or appliances into hard-to-reach outlets, play it safe and have Clover Electric install new outlets.
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