“Safety is always the first element when working with electricity but whether you’re actually working with electricity or just using it, there are safety conditions you should abide by regarding cords. We’ll look at a few of them here.
Avoid Overloading Outlets
If you find yourself regularly using extensions to plug several things into one outlet, chances are you may need to install additional outlets or you may run the risk of electrical shock or fire from overloaded outlets. While it’s good to use a surge protector for certain electrical items, like computers, if you find yourself using surge protectors just to have more outlet space, you may need to break down and install additional outlets.
Use Extension Cords Sparingly
You can also overload circuits by using too many extension cords or by using a lightweight extension cord for a heavy duty appliance, such as a space heater. When working outside, always use the heavy duty extension cords for power items like weed eaters and such. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are about 4,000 injuries annually as a direct result of extension cords. Although roughly half of these injuries are a direct result of people tripping over the extension cords, it is a bad idea to staple or nail extension cords to baseboards or to any other surface. There are also a large number of deaths and injuries each year due to extension cord produced fires, which can result from overloading circuits or from shorting out the cord by nailing or stapling it to a surface.
Replace or Repair Frayed Cords
Frayed cords can become dangerous and should not be allowed to be in use. Avoid the temptation of wrapping black electrician’s tape around frayed cords; instead replace or repair them immediately. In most cases, it is best to simply replace the cords rather than repair them. Also, do not run cords under rugs and do not allow anyone else to do so either. If a cord needs to be run under a rug, chances are you may need to install another electrical outlet.
Keep Cords From Dangling
A dangling cord is an accident waiting to happen. Pets or young children can pull on the cord and pull heavy items like an iron on top of them and be seriously injured. If you have an abundance of cord, cable it up or otherwise ensure that it is not able to be tugged on or tripped over by others.