Extension Cord Hazard
If you find yourself relying on extension cords for long periods of time, you should think about adding additional electrical outlets instead. Believe it or not, extension cords can be very hazardous.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), nearly 3,300 residential fires area caused each year by extension cords. As recommended by the CPSC, extension cords should be used only when absolutely necessary, on a temporary basis only. Furthermore, many building codes have made the permanent use of extension cords illegal in homes and businesses.
Why Are Extension Cords Hazardous?
One of the biggest problems with extension cords is that they can get in the way. They are easily tripped over and walked on. This can damage the cord. When cords are used outside, they also deteriorate quickly due to sun exposure.
Damaged cords will often create a short circuit. Short circuits commonly cause overloading, overheating and sometimes fire. If a cord is under a rug, being walked on often damages them. This damage, however, remains hidden. Furthermore, the rug adds additional fire hazard.
Whenever you use an extension cord that has multiple outlets available, you also run the risk of overloading and overheating the wires in your extension cord.
One of the best safety improvements is to use a power strip rather than an extension cord. When using a power strip, always use one that has an on-board circuit breaker. This way, if a short circuit occurs as a result of damage or other reasons, the circuit will cut off power to the cord. This will greatly eliminate the fire danger of extension cords.
Naturally, having any type of extension cord can lead to tripping. Circuit breakers can also wear without giving any visible signs. The best solution is to add a new electrical outlet in the location that it is needed. If you are thinking about adding a new electrical outlet, please give us a call. We would be happy to offer you a recommendation and free estimate.