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Use Electrical Cords – Safely

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It doesn’t take a match to start a fire or a spark to cause a shock. Electrical extension cords and power strips can be deceptively dangerous when used improperly. Fire, injuries, and even death can occur when cords overheat, or become damaged or overburdened. Your best bet is to always use a permanent branch circuit, but if you must rely on an electrical extension cord, here are three tips to help keep you and your property safe.

Used Temporarily
Electrical cords are designed for temporary use only because these lightweight cords cannot safely carry as much electrical current as permanent wiring. If you’re using electrical cords to permanently supply heaters, appliances, or production machinery, you should eliminate extension cord use by installing additional branch circuits or receptacles.

Rated Appropriately
Make sure the electrical cord you’re using is rated high enough to supply the current to your device. If the flow of the current is greater than the cord’s rated capacity, the cord may overheat and cause a fire.

Maintained Properly
Properly placing and maintaining electrical cords is critical to preventing fires and injuries. Do not install cords underneath carpets, as doing so increases the chance of overheating. Do not allow cords to come in contact with oil, hot surfaces, water, or combustible or corrosive materials. Do not use frayed cords or cords with damaged insulation. Finally, avoid “bottleneck wiring”—which refers to using multiple outlet adapters to allow more than one appliance to plug into a cord.

[note type=”tip”] Download a handout version of this safety tip for your employees. [/note]

Safe@Work is brought to you by Federated InsuranceThis is for general information and risk prevention purposes only. The recommendations herein may help reduce the risk of loss but are not a guarantee of the elimination of any risk of loss. It is not provided as a substitute for any regulatory standards that may apply. The information is accurate as of publication and is subject to change. The contents of this presentation should not be considered legal or expert advice. Qualified counsel should be sought regarding questions specific to your circumstances.

Federated Insurance

Posted In: ACCA Now, Safety

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