DIY Network

Extension Cord Safety Tips

Extension cords can be handy tools, but not all cords are the same. Use these safety tips to avoid electrical fires when using extension cords.

More in Electrical

do not try to repair an old damaged cord

Although newer homes usually have several electrical outlets in each room, older homes often don't. Extension cords can be handy when you run out of nearby outlets, but not all extension cords are created equal.

Don't assume that a cord is heavy-duty simply because it's bright orange or yellow. Check its amperage rating before using it on a high-amperage appliance.

If the insulation on the extension cord has become damaged, don't try to repair the cord. Throw it away and buy a new one. That may seem like a waste of money, but it could prevent an electrical fire.

Use common sense when dealing with extension cords. Read the labels before using them, and check them periodically. When using an extension cord, feel the plug every now and then. If the plug feels warm, stop using the cord immediately.

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