Toolbox Talk: Be Safe with Extension Cords
Extension cords are used all the time at work and at home. It’s probably because they are so useful! While they may make life easier, but they can cause fires or shocks if they aren’t used properly, or if worn out.
So, what types of extension cords are out there?
They usually come in either two or three wire types. When using two-wire extension cords, make sure it’s only powering 1-2 small appliances. If you need to power outdoor appliances or power tools, then make use of a three-wire cord. Why is this? Well, the third wire on this cord is a ground, so it should never be connected into an ungrounded electrical outlet.
You should always treat extension cords with care. Check them regularly for damage or wear. Don’t pull cords hard in an attempt to disconnect it from the electrical source. One thing that can be very tempting is to hide extension cords under rugs or furniture – or even though doorways, walls or ceilings. This act can be very dangerous, as damaged cords can cause a fire or shock!
You should never use extensions cords as a form of permanent wiring. Fastening them to a building or structure with staples is never a good idea. You should also avoid plugging two cords together in an attempt to make a longer one. When too many extension cords are used to power on appliances, it could reduce the operating voltage and efficiency of things that are plugged into it. This can lead to motor damage.
In short, extension cords are very convenient, and we use them for a lot of our daily activities. Even though they seem harmless, you still need to take proper care of them to prevent fire or shock hazards. Also, be sure you position extension cords, so they don’t become a tripping hazard. And always inspect them regularly to make sure they are free of any damage.