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Your home may be “connected in all the right ways,” but connected in wrong ways too—with electrical extension cords that can endanger your family’s safety! Helpful information from the Electrical Safety Foundation International and

  •  Any extension cord that is hot to the touch can cause a fire!  Either the cord isn’t sufficient to power whatever is connected to it, or the cord is going bad. I recently discovered this with one in my home!
  • Fifty people a year die from extension cord-related injuries, but 4000 are treated in hospitals each year.
  • Half of the reported injuries are caused by people tripping over extension cords.
  • Putting a cord under a rug might seem to help with the tripping idea, but it is a bad idea, because the cord can become damaged and you won’t be able to see it.
  • More than 3,300 home fires are caused yearly from improper extension cord use.
  • Don’t connect a power strip to a regular electrical cord.
  • Don’t use any extension cord outdoors, even on a covered patio, that’s not designed for outdoor use.
  • All your electrical cords, power strips and outlets need to be UL– or ETL-approved with a little sticker on them that states this. 
  • Don’t use a cord that isn’t three-pronged and has same-sized blades instead of the modern ones that only fit the receptacle one direction.
  • Don’t connect two extension cords together. Buy a longer one.
  • If the cord is frayed or the plug is cracked, throw it out.
  • Statistically, the most likely time for an extension cord to fail and cause a fire is in the middle of the night. About 3300 house fires start with faulty extension cords. Want to risk that?