Every year, around 3,300 house fires are started by extension cables, killing 50 people and injuring 270 more. When extension cables are handled incorrectly, they can overheat and cause fires, so keep these crucial guidelines in mind to safeguard your home and office.
If you use an extension cord for more than just lighting, such as if you plug in a vacuum cleaner or air conditioner, then it is important that you select an extension cord with sufficient ampacity (amperes, or amps). Ampacity refers to the maximum amount of current that can be carried by a cable; the higher the amperage rating, the faster the cable will heat up and possibly burn things down by yourself or in your home. Be sure to follow manufacturer instructions when selecting an extension cord for any additional equipment. You should also use proper safety techniques while working with extension cords, such as keeping electrical items away from flames or heating elements.
Household appliances that use electricity but are not connected to a wall outlet, such as stand-by power generators used during blackouts or off-grid solar-powered homes, pose a risk of fire if not handled properly. These devices can overload normal household circuits and cause them to spark and emit sparks when plugged in or disconnected, especially if you have aging wiring or a lot of loose connections inside your home.
Electrical Circuit Overload and Cords The unrestricted usage of extension cables poses a significant fire risk. Uncontrolled numbers of electrical cords are a common cause of house fires. If you're going to have multiple appliances and devices plugged in to a single outlet, use a powered switch to control those connections. This will eliminate the need for many unneeded cords lying around your home.
Cords can become tangled or crossed when stacked too high. Be sure to keep cord management tools on hand to avoid these problems. When putting together furniture, make sure that cordless phones, alarm systems, and other electrical equipment are not in close proximity to each other. This way, if one product emits an electric shock, it won't be another person who gets hurt but instead it will be the product itself.
All electrical wiring should be kept out of reach of children. Install child-proof caps on all outlets used by toddlers and infants. Make sure that power tools are not lying around areas where children may find them. Power tools are very dangerous if used improperly or without adult supervision.
Electricity is electricity; it will flow to what is called a "ground" or zero potential.
Don't allow your extension cables become a source of fire. Extension cables are a frequent and handy way to connect electrical equipment to electricity. However, if not utilized with prudence, they might become fire dangers and endanger your personal safety. Do not use extension cords as clothes racks or garden tools. This creates many more problems than it solves. For example, if you decide to use an extension cord as a clothes rack, you should only do so if the plug on the end is designed for this purpose. Otherwise, you could cause damage to your furniture or clothing.
If you want to use your extension cord as a tool, then it should be rated for such use. For example, if you need to work on an electrical system using a power tool, then you should definitely use an extension cord that is marked for use with tools. These cords can get hot when current is passing through them, so care should be taken not to put any other objects in contact with them.
Extension cords are useful tools for keeping appliances near where you stand them up. However, these cords should never be used as a replacement for permanent wiring. If you want to extend the range of available electricity, then you should look at installing a circuit breaker. This will prevent small accidents or misuse of equipment from causing major damage to your house or business.
Extension cables that are coiled up might be a fire danger. Even the most expensive cable reels are at danger. Because flowing current creates heat, and that heat cannot be dissipated correctly due to the coiling, fires might develop. If you come into contact with these cables, uncoil them immediately.