While extension cord safety is a year round concern, use of these devices is often more prominent during the holidays due to the increased use of electrical lights and decorations. By following a few simple safety guidelines hopefully you can help prevent dangerous mistakes with extension cords this holiday season.
Purchase cords from authorized retailers. Never use an extension cor that does not carry the certification label of a recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Intertek (ETL) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA). Keep all outdoor extension cords clear of snow and standing water and well-protected from the elements.
Make sure extension cords are properly rated for their intended use – indoor and outdoor – and meet or exceed the power needs of the device being used. Examine cords before each use. Cracked, frayed, or otherwise damaged cords should be replaced immediately. Do not overload exension cords. Multiple plug outlets must be plugged directly into mounted electrical receptacles, they cannot be chained together. Extension cords are meant to provide a temporary solution and should not be used as a long-term pr permanent electrical circuit. Do not run cords through walls, doorways, ceilings or floors.
Planning is essential to reducing stress during this holiday season. ARC Electric Company can’t help you manage your budgets, guests, and traveling; we can help you plan for safe holiday decorations!
*If you haven’t already done so this month, test all smoke alarms. Replace the batteries, or alarm if it is not working properly.
*Inspect all electrical decorations and replace any that are cracked, frayed, or have other breaks in the insulation of any wires.
*Plan out the placement of your holiday lighting so that no more than three strands are strung together (unless using LEDs).
*Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).
*Be sure to check each product label or packaging to determine whether it is intended for indoors or outdoors and use accordingly.
*Arrange your decorations so that no outlet is overloaded and no cords will be pinched by furniture or positioned under rugs.
*Be sure all heating sources or open flames, such as a candle or fireplace, are given a three foot buffer from any decorations.
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