Common sense safety practices save lives and property. This is especially true when using extension cords. Remember that extension cords are only for temporary use, and shouldn’t be used long term or permanently attached. If you find that you are constantly in need of extension cords to plug in consistently used appliances or components, a better alternative would be to hire your Lehigh Valley electrician to install new receptacles in your Lehigh Valley home.
For those times when you need to use extension cords, here are the Dos and Donts:
- Always use a UL rated cord; heavy duty is preferable, medium duty is acceptable for lighter loads.
- Always observe GFCI protection rules when using electric tools and appliances outdoors, or in damp or wet locations.
- Always ensure the amperage of the tool in use does not exceed 80% of your extension cord rating. This will prevent overloading.
- Always ensure your cord has no frayed wires or ends, cuts, abrasions or damaged, brittle or weather-checked insulation, sheathing or cord ends. Once your cord has been damaged…replace it.
- Always ensure your cord is grounded (has an intact grounding pin). Never remove this pin.
- Never staple down or secure extension cords…temporary use only.
- Never use cords to hang or suspend anything from.
- Never use cords for permanent Lehigh Valley home wiring.
- Never use extension cords under rugs or carpet, near high-traffic areas, wrapped around table or chair legs, through doorways or anywhere they can be pinched, flattened or severed.
- Never tie cords into knots or bend in sharp radii.
- Always use only enough cord to get the job done…don’t use 300 feet of cord where 50 feet will suffice.
- Never run extensions cord through your Lehigh Valley attic or other extremely hot spaces. This will impede the cords’ ability to shed heat and lower its’ capacity to carry current.
- Never use extension cords for electric space heaters, and never use them or place them near heat or combustible sources.
- Always keep extension cords away from small children to eliminate a strangulation hazard.
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