When you need to reach an outlet that's far away, extension cords are the go-to solution. They come in many different sizes and designs. If you're using them throughout your property, it's important to observe the following safety protocol.
Choose a GFCI Design
If you plan on using an extension cord near water-prone areas, such as the bathroom, it's important that it has a GFCI design. Hundreds of people are electrocuted each year, but this unique design safeguards you from such perils. GFCI extension cords come equipped with a built-in sensor, which monitors the inflow and outflow of electricity. If any change in this flow is detected, the extension cord immediately shuts off.
GFCI extension cords also account for ground faults that are associated with starting fires. You'll never have to come home and see all of your hard work up in flames. Lastly, appliances are adequately protected if they're connected to extension cords with a GFCI design.
Do Not Substitute Permanent Wiring with Extension Cords
Extension cords are great temporary solutions for different power needs. For example, you may need to run an extension cord to reach an electric generator outside. However, using these cords as a permanent wiring solution is not safe. The extension cord could experience surges of power that are too much, leaving your home susceptible to fires.
Rather than using extension cords permanently, you should consider hiring an electrician to install additional outlets where they are needed. Outlets today are designed to support multiple appliances at one time, and there are many places electricians can install them. These include the garage, utility room, and the exterior of your property.
Use Extension Cords Correctly
If projects require the use of extension cords, there are several practices you should keep in mind. Always make sure you know what type of extension cord you have, because some models are only designed for certain areas. For example, placing indoor cords outside poses a lot of risk to your safety.
If the extension cord feels hot during operation, immediately unplug it and consider an alternative wiring solution. Never run extension cords under rugs and carpet, as this could lead to fires. Lastly, don't plug in multiple extension cords together.
When used correctly, extension cords are extremely accommodating items to have in your household. Take the right safety precautions each time they are used to ensure safety and protect your property from severe damage.