Extension Cord Do’s and Don’ts for Fire Safety

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, improper use of extension cords causes around 3,300 residential fires a year. Common fire-causing extension cord malfunctions are overloading cords, using damaged or frayed cords, and short circuits. It’s important to educate yourself on the correct use of extension cords to minimize the risk of fire damage to your home. Here are some of the most helpful extension cord dos’ and don’ts to help protect your family and your home. 


Don’t overload an extension cord with too many appliances plugged into it at once.

Do make sure you are selecting the right type of extension cord for each situation. For example, using an indoor extension cord indoors, and an outdoor extension cord for outdoors.

Don’t use cords that are punctured, frayed, damaged. Throw them away to keep them separate from working cords.

Do choose the right cord length. You should have one extension cord long enough for the appliance you are plugging in. You should never connect multiple cords together.

Don’t pull extension cords out by the cord, always pull it out by the plug when disconnecting it from the outlet.

Do check the wattage rating on your extension cords. Make sure the wattage rating is greater than the appliance’s power requirement.

Don’t run the cords under furniture or carpets to avoid any tripping hazards.

Do read the instructions on the correct use for the cord and it’s power requirements.

Don’t run cords through water or snow to avoid electrical shock.

Do purchase cords that have been approved by an independent testing laboratory.

Don’t nail or staple cords to walls or ceilings. The sharp nails or staples can puncture the wiring and cause a short circuit.

Do unplug extension cords when they are not in use to avoid overheating.

Don’t use any cords that get hot to the touch.

Do keep cords organized with approved cord bundling or ties. Use labels to distinguish which wires belong to which appliances.

Don’t cover extension cords when they are in use. This will trap the heat without a way to escape and cause the cord to overheat.

Do cover unused outlets and extension cord plugs with childproof covers when not in use.

Don’t confuse extension cords and surge protectors.

Do store extension cords indoors.

Don’t use extension cords as a permanent solution. Permanent wiring should be installed for long-term electrical use.

Do use polarized and/or three-pong extension cords.

Finding Fire Damage Restoration Professionals in Albany, NY

If you have experienced a severe extension cord malfunction, or any other fire hazard that has caused fire damage to your home, you should hire a fire damage restoration professional.

Hiring fire damage restoration professionals is the key to addressing fire damage and getting your home put back together quickly and efficiently. The team assesses the damage and creates a restoration plan that covers you and your home from point A to point Z.  

Professional Fire Restoration should be the first call you make after experiencing any kind of fire damage in your home. We have over 35+ years of experience of turning crisis into calm. We’re here to help you along your path to starting new. Contact us today so we can help clean the fire damage in your home and repair it to what it was or make it even better.