No Shortcuts to Safety: Proper Extension Cord Usage

Electrical extension cord

You Need an Extension Cord You Can Count On

Ensuring electrical extension cord safety is absolutely crucial in order to prevent accidents and fires. Taking proactive steps, like the ones below, can help protect your family and provide peace of mind.

Here are five tips to help ensure your extension cords are safe to use:

1. Check for Damage: Before using an extension cord, always take a moment to inspect it. Look for any frayed wires, exposed conductors, or signs of wear and tear. If you notice any damage, replace the cord immediately.

2. Choose the Right Cord: It's important to select an extension cord that matches the power needs of your devices. Using a cord with a lower amp rating than required can lead to overheating and potential fires. When using extension cords outside, make sure to choose ones that are rated for outdoor use to ensure they are properly insulated against moisture and other environmental factors.

3. Avoid Overloading: Never plug too many devices into a single extension cord or connect multiple cords together. Overloading can cause the cord to overheat, which poses a fire risk. 

4. Proper Placement: Avoid running extension cords under rugs or carpets, through doorways where they can get pinched, or in areas where they can be tripped over. It's also important to keep them away from water sources to prevent electric shock. Using cord organizers or clips can be helpful in keeping the cords secure and out of harm's way.

5. Unplug When Not in Use: When your devices are not in use, it's always a good idea to unplug them from the extension cord. Leaving them plugged in unnecessarily not only wastes energy, but it also increases the risk of fire, especially if the cord becomes damaged or compromised while unattended.

You need an extension cord that you can count on. When it comes to electrical extension cords, using a high-quality one is essential. Here's why:

1. Safety: High-quality cords are meticulously designed with durable materials and built to meet strict safety standards. They can provide excellent insulation, reducing the risk of electrical shocks and fires. On the other hand, cheaper, lower-quality cords may not have sufficient insulation or may be more prone to damage, which can increase the risk of accidents.

2. Reliability: Good quality cords are manufactured to withstand the demands of regular use, such as bending, twisting, and pulling, without easily breaking or deteriorating. This means that your electrical devices can remain powered without any interruptions. You can trust these cords to deliver consistent and reliable performance every time.

3. Capacity: It’s important to choose an extension cord that can handle the electrical load of your devices. Quality extension cords are rated for specific amperages and wattages, indicating the maximum load they can safely handle. Using a cord with insufficient capacity can lead to overheating and potential hazards.

4. Longevity: High-quality cords are made with superior materials and construction techniques, making them highly resistant to wear and tear over time. As a result, they can last longer than cheaper alternatives, saving you money by reducing how often you need to replace them.

5. Versatility: Some high-quality extension cords offer features that can enhance their versatility and make them suitable for a wide range of applications. These features can include multiple outlets, surge protection, or weatherproofing.

By remembering these tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and ensure the safe use of electrical extension cords in your home or workplace.


The information presented in this document is for informational and educational purposes only. It is intended to assist individuals, farmers, and business owners in identifying common hazards/risks and considering proactive loss prevention or loss mitigation actions. For information related to specific loss hazards, please contact your insurance agent.

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