Though we use them in our homes and offices frequently, and especially during the holidays, extension cords are surprisingly hazardous. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that about 3,300 residential fires originate with these cords each year. The CPSC has even issued a safety alert to offer better awareness of the hazards of extension cords. Please read it.
One of the major problems with extension cords is that they’re subject to everyday wear and tear. People rountinely trip over them, yanking the plug from the socket, and causing damage to the plug. Damage also occurs by doors closing on the cord or people walking over them, as well. Improper coiling of extension cords can also put kinks in the line and eventually cause breaks in the casing. And if used outside, an extension cord can deteriorate with prolonged exposure to the sun.
Once a cord is damaged, the possibility of a short circuit increases. A “short circuit” means the electricity is traveling in a different path than intended, one in which larger amounts of electricity can be drawn into the cord. Overly large amounts of electricity can overload the wires, heating them up, and possibly igniting a fire. And any cords that run under a rug only increase the risk of fire hazard.
Avoid the Hazards of Extension Cords
If your home or business depends on the use of extension cords for more than a temporary fix, you might want to consider adding a new outlet or more. The occassional use of an extension cord is proper, but prolonged use means you probably need a more permanent electrical solution. Call Shockley today for a recommendation and solutions to make your electrical use safe! With over a decade of experience, we take great pride in being the Marietta electrician people call first.
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