Extension Cord Safety
Today we have a guest post from Craig Forman, one of our Sales Team. Craig has been in the fire protection industry for over 20 years as both a salesman and an company owner. Craig is now an Account Representative and Fire Protection Specialist for Encore Fire Protection, City Fire’s parent company.
As I have been in the Fire Protection business for over twenty years, this is always a “Hot” topic, no pun intended. As the holiday season approaches, the air is filled with the warm glow of twinkling lights, the aroma of festive meals, and the sound of joyous celebrations. Amidst the decorations and holiday cheer, it’s crucial to prioritize safety, especially when it comes to powering the various electronic devices and decorations that make this season magical. Extension cords play a pivotal role in distributing power throughout our homes during this time, but their misuse can lead to hazardous situations. Let’s delve into some essential tips for extension cord safety to ensure a safe and merry holiday season.
Choosing the Correct Cord
Not all extension cords are the same, and it’s vital to choose the right one for your specific needs. When shopping for extension cords, look for those labeled as “UL-listed” (Underwriters Laboratories). This indicates that the product has met strict safety standards. Additionally, consider the cord’s capacity or wattage rating, ensuring it can handle the power requirements of the devices you plan to connect. Using a low-capacity extension cord for high-powered decorations, such as outdoor lights or inflatable decorations, can lead to overheating and pose a fire hazard.
Before plugging in any extension cord, inspect it thoroughly for any signs of wear and tear. Check for frayed wires, exposed conductors, or damaged insulation. If you spot any issues, replace the cord immediately. It’s also crucial to examine the cord’s length and ensure it’s appropriate for the intended use. Connecting multiple extension cords together, commonly known as “daisy chaining,” is a safety risk and should be avoided.
COMMON USES FOR CORDS
Holiday decorations often extend beyond the cozy confines of our homes to illuminate the outdoors. When using extension cords for outdoor lighting or inflatable decorations, opt for cords specifically designed for outdoor use. These cords are typically weather-resistant and have additional insulation to protect against moisture. Make sure to secure outdoor cords to prevent tripping hazards and elevate them to avoid water pooling.
Careful consideration of where you place extension cords is essential for both indoor and outdoor setups. Avoid running cords under rugs or carpets, as this can cause overheating and increase the risk of a fire. Instead, secure cords along the edges of walls or use cord covers to prevent tripping hazards. Be mindful of high-traffic areas and take extra precautions to ensure cords are out of the way.
While power strips and extension cords may seem interchangeable, it’s important to understand their distinct purposes. Power strips are designed for multiple outlets and are suitable for low-powered electronic devices. Extension cords, on the other hand, are intended for extending the reach of an outlet to power devices further away. Using extension cords for multiple devices with a power strip can overload the circuit, leading to potential hazards. Ensure you are using the right tool for the job to maintain a safe electrical environment.
TIME TO UNPLUG
When the holiday festivities wind down, and it’s time to call it a night, unplug all extension cords to prevent potential hazards. Overloaded circuits or damaged cords can still pose risks, even when devices are turned off. Taking the extra step to unplug ensures that your home remains safe and reduces energy consumption.
To conclude, as we immerse ourselves in the holiday season, let’s not overlook the importance of extension cord safety. By choosing the right cords, inspecting them before use, and being mindful of their placement, we can ensure a safe and joyous celebration for ourselves and our loved ones. Extension cord safety is a small yet significant aspect of holiday preparations that can make a big difference in creating a festive environment without compromising on safety.
If you’d like to contact Craig regarding fire safety or to request a quote, you can reach him at 973-560-1600 x283 or by emailing him at CForman@EncoreFireProtection.com