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Top 10 Extension Cord Safety Tips

Using an extension cord properly and as intended will keep you and anyone else around you safe and secure. There are many uses for extension cords and things to consider when using. Follow these 10 important tips to keep things rolling!

  • Make sure that you have the proper AWG wire of extension cord for the task that you are doing. If you have high power draw items like medium to large compressors, large tile cutters, miter saws etc. they will likely draw 12 amps or more. You will be looking at using a 14 to 12 gauge extension cord for the job

  • Never break off the ground on an extension cord to make it fit with a specific item. Not only is it altering the cord, but you would not be using it as intended. The proper cord for the job is key here.

  • Avoid using multiple extension cords together. This can cause even problems as the longer the cord is, the lower the voltage will be at what is plugged in. This can cause equipment to underperform or even break.

  • Always inspect an extension cord before use. It may become frayed and worn causing a potential shock hazard

  • If your extension cord is damaged, discontinue use until it is either repaired or replaced. This is important as I have seen in many cases this is not followed creating a legitimate hazard

  • If used outside, it is preferred that you are plugged into a GFCI outlet. This will protect the user from potential shock hazards especially in wet conditions

  • Make sure that the extension cord is ran in a manner that it does not present itself as a tripping hazard. You might even consider running it overhead if the situation allows.

  • Make sure that the extension cord is plugged into the outlet securely and not 3/4 in. This can allow the prongs on the cord actually melt if the connection is poor

  • If you plug in an item(IE a skillsaw) that will involve the cord moving around while in use, consider tying the end of the extension cord together with the tool cord that you are using. This will help it not unplug while in use.

  • Important tip: Extension cords are only meant to be used temporarily to complete a task. Avoid using them as a permanent solution to keep things powered up. Consult an electrician if you need more outlets to suit what you are trying to accomplish if this is the case.

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