There is no denying that using an extension cord is highly convenient. However, most people are also aware that overloading an extension cord by plugging in too many devices is a safety hazard. After all, this scenario can overload your outlet, which may damage anything plugged into it—or worse, it can lead to an electrical fire.
Overloading an extension cord isn’t the only safety hazard you should be concerned about. In fact, a trusted electrician may ask you to follow these other extension cord safety rules:
Follow Indoor or Outdoor Designation
Most extension cords will come with manufacturer’s instructions, so take the time to read them. One particular detail you should pay attention to is whether the extension cord is designated for indoor and outdoor use. Using an indoor extension cord outdoors can lead to disaster since they are not designed to handle rain and other poor weather conditions.
Match Wattage Ratings
The manufacturer’s instructions should also inform you of the wattage rating of your extension cord. Make sure that the extension cord you purchase matches the wattage rating of the devices you plan to connect. This will help you avoid overheating issues that could lead to electrical fires.
Avoid Covering Extension Cords
Extensions cords are often unsightly on a nice clean floor, which is why some people may opt to cover their cords with a rug. This should be avoided at all costs. The heat generated by electrical transfer may have trouble escaping, which can cause your rug to catch fire. It’s best to unplug and store your extension cord when not in use.
Never Used Damaged Cords
Over the course of repeated use, you may notice signs of physical damage to your extension cord. In such cases, it’s best to play it safe and replace the extension cord altogether. You never know if the damage has affected a now-faulty safety feature. And of course, using cords with exposed wires can lead to severe shocks and even electrocution.
Extension Cord Safety: What to Do and What to Avoid, statefarm.com