< Back to Safety Toolbox

Safe Practices for Extension Cord Use

If not use properly, extension cords can cause serious damage to both property and worker’s health.

Electrical extension cords are used on many worksites, and should be treated with respect.

Now, people don’t pay much attention to them, but…

Extension cords are a leading cause of electrical fires, and if not used properly, there may be serious, negative consequences.

Always:

  • Inspect cords before use, and throw away damaged cords.
  • Extension cords are not a permanent solution for sourcing power. Unplug and safely store them after every use.
  • Remove cords by pulling on the plug, not the cord, when disconnecting them from an outlet.
  • Keep extension cords out of high traffic areas like doorways or walkways, where they pose a tripping hazard—we’ve all been there, right?

Never:

  • Use an indoor extension cord outdoors
  • Plug multiple cords together.
  • Use an extension cord that has a lower wattage rating than the tool being used with it.
  • Force a plug into an outlet, say, by bending the ground prong.
  • Run an extension cord near water, or use a wet extension cord.
  • Use a cord that feels hot.
  • Drag or drive over a cord.

The correct use of extension cords is an important to on-the-job electrical safety because if used incorrectly, injuries and even death can occur.

Until next time, stay positive and stay safe.