Power Strip and Extension Cord Safety

Extension cords can make life easier, however, if used improperly, they can become a fire hazard.  Taking a few simple precautions and preventative measures can help protect your family, home, business, and possessions.


15 Power Strip and Extension Cord Safety Dos and Don’ts:


  1. Extension cords should be a short term fix, not a long term solution. Hire a qualified electrician to add more receptacle outlets if needed.
  2. Check extension cords for damage – cracks, fraying, discoloration, bare wires, loose connections
    and a cord that is hot to touch are all signs of damage. Throw out all damaged extension cords.
  3. Use UL listed extension cords only.
  4.  Never use extension cords with major appliances.
  5. Do not overload power strips and extension cords, avoid plugging extension cords into one
  6. Purchase the right size cord for the job.
  7.  Do not use an indoor extension cord outside.
  8. Keep all extension cords and power strips away from water, snow, and ice.
  9.  Extension cords or power strips are not to be used with heaters or fans. They can overheat
    quickly causing a fire.
  10.  Do not run an extension cord under a carpet or rug, through walls, floors or ceilings.
  11.  Never nail or staple extension cords to walls, ceilings or floors.
  12.  Check extension cords to make sure they are not pinched or damaged by doors, windows and
  13. Unplug extension cords that are not in use by grasping the plug, not the cord when removing
    the plug from an outlet.
  14. Never remove a grounding pin from an extension cord in order to fit it into a two-prong outlet.
  15. Always store extension cords inside.

Remember, extension cords are intended for temporary use only. By following the precautions above, you are working toward keeping your property safe and protected.