There is always some danger lurking where there are electrical cables. Whether at home or a construction site, the risk of an electrical hazard can be disastrous. Electrical faults could cause fires, and careless contact with naked live wires can cause shocks and burns.
In the worst-case scenario, these accidents could lead to fires that can cause massive destruction of properties, severe injuries, and even death. The damage that electrical faults can cause emphasizes the need to be careful with cords. If you have damaged cables, you must call an extension cord repair specialist to prevent injuries and accidents. It may seem like a minor issue on the cable, but repairing it could save a life.
Here are some extension cord rules to enhance electrical safety and prevent hazards at your workplace or home.
Extension Cord Rules for Electrical Safety
RULE 1: Do Not Overload Sockets.
Extension cords are essential in every home. Without them, it would mean having sockets for every appliance you have in your home. The extension cord works as an adapter that increases the connecting ports for your appliances.
While there may be many spaces to plug in several appliances, it is never a good idea to be using all of them at once. Always check the current rating of the extension cord before plugging in any device. Most cords are 13 A, but some can be more or less depending on their intended use.
Even if you want to plug just one appliance, ensure that you check the current rating to exceed the cord’s current rating. As a simple rule, always ensure that the cord’s capacity exceeds the appliance’s demand you are plugging into the cord.
If there is too much current passing through the cable, it will likely heat up. This is a likely indication of overload and should warn you of possible danger. Loading the extension can cause the socket to overheat as well and cause a fire.
RULE 2: Do not Use Your Extension Cord as a Permanent Feature.
The mistake most homeowners make is leaving the appliances connected to the extension for long. Sometimes, the appliance is never removed from the extension. Extension cords are designed for temporary use.
If you have an appliance that needs a power connection all the time, plug it into a wall socket. Passing current consistently through the cord may cause it to heat up. The heat may cause the insulation to carbonize or melt.
RULE 3: Place the Cord in A Safe, Aerated Place.
Electrical cables littering your floor makes the room look untidy and present a health hazard. People walking could trip on the cord and fall or pull it from the socket and cause a spark that could lean into a fire.
As a general rule, ensure that the cord is away from reach, especially if you have children around. Children are often curious and may be tempted to plug items into the extension, causing damage or fire.
While you may want to keep the cables away from heavily trafficked areas, do not cover the cord. Some people pass the cables under the carpet, which is not advisable. When the cord is in use, it produces heat. When covered, the heat cannot escape, and the cable may melt.
Always ensure the cord is rolled out when in use. If the cord is coiled, it will not be able to dissipate the heat. It may accumulate heat, causing the insulation to melt.
RULE 4: Inspect the Cord Regularly for Signs of Damage.
You should make it a habit to inspect the cord regularly. Sometimes, cords get faulty without any overload or physical damage. Regular checking can help identify possible faults and prevent electrical hazards.
The smell of burning plastic when using the extension could indicate overload or exposed wires making contact with the seal. You may also notice sparks or smoke when you plug in an appliance. These are signs of danger, and you should switch off the socket and unplug the extension.
When you unplug the extension, check if there are scorch marks or blackness on the plug or the socket. This could indicate a faulty extension. Check for frayed or damaged leads, too, as these could cause sparks.
Extension cords are standard in every home and workplace. Consequently, faulty cords are a major cause of electrical accidents and deaths every year. You can avoid such adverse events by proper maintenance of the cord. Overloading the cord or leaving the cables exposed can lead to disastrous outcomes. Simple safety measures such as tidying up the cables can save you from a major accident. Remember that the extension is designed for temporary use. When the cord is not in use, please do not leave it hanging around. Instead, fold it up and store it appropriately.