Fire safety should be one of your top priorities as a homeowner. To work towards this goal, it's essential to monitor candle use, watch your food while you're cooking, and teach your family the importance of fire safety. However, equally important to the goal is using extension cords appropriately. Misusing an extension can lead to all sorts of fire hazards. If you regularly use these cords in your home, learn some useful tips that can keep you safe.
Be mindful where you purchase an extension cord from. You should never buy a secondhand wire. With a secondhand cord, you don't know if the cord is damaged. Unfortunately, if the cord is damaged, a fire could ignite almost immediately. Only purchase a new cord from a reputable dealer so that you can ensure it's safe.
Measure the Distance
Ensure you know how much cord you need before you purchase a new cord. It's much better to choose a cord that is slightly longer than the length you need than a cord that is too short. If the cord is too short, you may be more apt to connect two cords, which is a big no-no, as plugging in multiple cords together can increase your fire hazard risk.
When the extension cord is not in use, it's important that you unplug the cord. First, a child could come by and play with the cord if nobody is around. Second, someone is more likely to trip over the cord. Plug the cord into the wall only when you need to use it for a specific purpose and will be around to monitor the condition of the cord.
Check the Rating
Review the label on the cord before you bring it home and use it. Extension cords typically have an outdoor or indoor rating. You can safely use an outdoor-rated plug both inside and outside. However, an indoor-rated plug can only be used inside. A plug with this rating does not have the appropriate wire insulation to withstand sunlight and moisture. In fact, using an indoor plug outside can lead to a fire.
Plan the Route Safely
Carefully route where you will install the extension cord. You never want to install a cord under furniture, such as a couch. First, when the cord is hidden, you can't monitor its condition. For example, if there were burn marks on the cable, you would not see them. Second, the cord is more likely to be bent or smashed, which can also increase its fire hazard risk.
Make certain you keep extension cord safety a top priority to protect your home and family. Check out a local electronics store to find Americord Power cords.