Safety Short – Extension Cord Safety

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Using extension cords properly is critical to your safety. With continu­ous use over time, an extension cord can rapidly deteriorate, creating a potentially dangerous electric shock or fire hazard. 


  • Check cords for damage before use.
  • Ensure all equipment and extension cords have the mark of an independent testing laboratory.
  • Fully insert the plug of an extension cord into an outlet.
  • Keep extension cords away from water.
  • Use ground fault circuit interrupters in damp environments.
  • Store extension cords indoors.
  • Unplug extension cords when not in use.
  • Only use extension cords temporarily; permanent wiring should be installed when use of the cords is no longer temporary.


  • Daisy chaining cords (plugging cords together). 
  • Use an indoor extension cord in outdoor environments.
  • Attempt to plug extension cords into one another.
  • Use an extension cord that has a lower wattage rating than the tool being used with it.
  • Overload cords.
  • Force a plug into an outlet.
  • Use a wet extension cord.
  • Overheat an extension cord.
  • Drive over a cord.
  • Drag an extension cord.
  • Place cords under rugs or carpets or in busy areas.

If you are interested in safety and would like to join the Safety Committee please send your interest to

Questions? Contact Minna Gelder,, 503.399.6483