Safety Spotlight: Extension Cord Safety at Work and Home

December 2016

[image type=”none” float=”left” src=”4011″ alt=”” href=”” title=”” info_content=”” lightbox_caption=”” id=”” class=”” style=””][text_output]What do power tools and holiday decorations have in common?

Extension cords, for one. And safety hazards, for another.

Heavy-duty extension cords are a common sight on the shop floor and out in the field. They’re also an essential part of many holiday decorating traditions, from electric candles on windowsills to 15-foot inflatable snowmen in the front yard.

Extension cords – as ever-present and convenient as they are – can be taken for granted. There are safety precautions everyone should follow, and the consequences for ignoring them can be drastic.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), a nonprofit group that promotes electrical safety at home and in the workplace, cautions that thousands of extension cord-related injuries are treated in hospitals every year. Cuts, sprains and fractures can be caused by tripping over an extension cord. ESFI notes that more than 3,000 home fires originate from extension cords every year, causing 50 deaths.

ESFI offers these tips for safe extension cord use:

  • Keep extension cords away from high-traffic areas, where they could be a tripping hazard.
  • Don’t pinch extension cords in doors or windows, or under machinery or furniture.
  • Stop using an extension cord if it feels hot.
  • Check extension cords for damage before using them.
  • Only use extension cords that meet or exceed the power needs of the device being used.

Whether you’re working with a hand grinder or hanging holiday lights on your home, be smart and safe with extension cords.

Enerfab’s team lives safety every day. Learn more about how we use Human Performance Improvement tools and other methods to enhance our commitment to safety.[/text_output]

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