Electrical Cord Safety

Know Electrical Cord Safety

In addition to keeping cords out of sight, electrical cords should be kept out from underfoot to prevent tripping. They should always be kept in good condition so they don’t become fire hazards.  Here are some tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Electrical Safety Foundation International on electrical cord safety.

  1. Keep unprotected electrical cords out of the path of foot traffic and furniture to prevent fraying, overheating, and tripping.
  2. Never run an electrical cord under a rug.  The cord won’t be able to release its heat and could lead to a fire.
  3. Don’t leave electrical cords dangling anywhere where they can be pulled down and tripped over.
  4. Make sure there is no crimping or pressure on electrical cords, and don’t force them into small spaces or behind furniture.  Over time this could lead to a breakdown of the cord’s insulation.  When using cord-bundling devices, such as Cable Turtles or plastic spiral wire wrap, avoid cramming too many cords together – keep it loose.
  5. Never use staples or nails to attach electrical cords or cord bundlers to a surface, such as a baseboard or wall.  They could puncture the insulation and create a shock or fire hazard.  
  6. Don’t overload outlets or extension cords with too many appliances, or appliances with too much wattage (space heaters or microwave ovens, for example).  Check the maximum capacity of an extension cord, and make absolutely sure you don’t exceed its rating.
  7. Don’t use an adapter to get an extension cord with a three-prong plug into a two-prong outlet.
  8. Don’t plug extension cords together.  Instead, use one long enough for your task.
  9. Don’t use an extension cord to plug in a power strip.  Instead, buy a power strip with a longer electrical cord.
  10. If a cord is hot to the touch, do not use it!

How to Hang Holiday Decorations without Burning Your House Down

The festive season is officially in full swing and that means that lighting displays are, too.  Whether you’re decking the halls with a Charlie Brown Christmas tree or a light show to end all light shows, there are plenty of ways to show your cheer!  But with holiday decorations starting an average of 780 home fires per year, it’s important to keep electrical cord safety in mind while on your hot chocolate-induced caffeine high.  

 

 

“Know Electrical Cord Safety” originally published on RealSimple.com on August 17, 2014, by Sarah Engler.  

“How to Hang Holiday Decorations” originally published December 13, 2019, by Jenna Careri, SaveOnEnergy.com.  

Holiday Fire Safety Facts can be found on the National Fire Protection Association’s website.