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Extension Cord Safety Tips

Help avoid electric shock, property damage or fires from taking place in your home. Consider these extension cord safety tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe around electricity. 

Don’t overload and overuse extension cords 

Remember not to overload and overuse an extension cord. Overstressed extension cords can deteriorate and create a dangerous shock or a fire. Keep in mind that extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis.

Choose the right extension cord

It’s important to select a cord that’s appropriate for the intended use. Outdoor cords have insulation that protects against moisture, sunlight and abrasion, so using an indoor cord outdoors can create a fire hazard or result in electric shock.

Don't connect multiple extension cords

Make sure to choose an extension cord that’s long enough, and don’t attempt to extend the length by connecting multiple extension cords.

Don't force a plug into the wrong kind of outlet

Never try to force a three-prong plug into a two-prong outlet by removing the ground pin (the third prong).

Avoid tripping or fire hazards

Do not run extension cords through walls or ceilings because they may overheat, creating a fire hazard.

Never use a damaged extension cord 

Avoid damaging a cord’s insulation by making sure your cords are not pinched in doors and windows or under heavy furniture. Keep in mind that damaged cords can pose a risk of electric shock and create a fire hazard.

Check the cord's wattage rating

A cord’s wattage rating, or the amount of electricity it can safely transmit, is provided either in watts or in amps and volts. (Multiply the amps and volts together to get the wattage rating.) The cord’s wattage rating must be greater than the appliance’s power requirement, which should be listed on the appliance. If you plan to plug multiple appliances into a cord, add their wattages together to make sure the total doesn’t exceed the cord’s rating.

For more electrical safety tips, visit on.sce.com/staysafe

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