All electric cords must be used with caution. Whether it is a power cord for one of your kitchen appliance or an extension cord you use to power any device; it is important that you follow adequate safety measures to prevent any accidents or fires from unsafe use of electric cords.
The first thing you can do to ensure safe cord use at home is to buy the right cables.
- Make sure to purchase only those cords that have been tested and certified by an independent and recognized testing laboratory.
- For extension cord use in outdoor spaces such as your yard or garden, make sure you buy cords that are specifically made for outdoor use. Extension cords for outdoor use have insulation made of materials that can withstand moisture, sunlight and changes in temperatures.
- Always make sure that the wattage of the appliance is compatible with the wattage rating of the cords. Not doing so can cause accidents due to overheating of the cord. Read the instructions for use when buying cords and use them to supply the appropriate wattage to any device.
- With extension cords more length doesn’t mean better performance. In fact, shorter lengths are better able to transmit current compared to longer cords that have the same gauge.
- Thin cords can be used with small devices. But for large electronics or appliances, it is best to buy cords that are round, thick and have low gauge.
Tips for safe use
It is also important to use the right cords in the right ways to ensure safety at home.
- Never tug, pull, coil or bend a cord when in use.
- When not in use, or when removing cords, disconnect by pulling the plug.
- When in use, make sure cords are not lying on the floor or dangling from the plugs and become a tripping hazard. Do not push them under rugs or carpets when in use.
- Do not attach cords to walls or furniture using staples, nails or tape.
- Disconnect them from their power source immediately if the cords become hot to touch when in use.
- Never try to force a three-pronged plug into a two-pronged outlet by removing the grounding pin of the cord.
- Store them properly after each use to extend the life of cords and to ensure that the cables are not damaged.
- In case cords get cut or damaged, replace them with new ones immediately.