Extension Cords | Electricians in Huntsville, AL
It is a common problem for homes and businesses in the U. S. to have insufficient outlets. In order to make up for the lack of outlets, extension cords are often used for long-term power. The Electrical Safety Foundation International warns, “Extension cords are a leading cause of electrical fires.” While extension cords are only one cause of fires, the fact that extension cords are a major cause should not be underestimated. Don’t take the risk, have Mister Sparky’s electricians in Huntsville, AL install the electrical outlets that you require.
The fact is extension cords should never be used as a substitute for an outlet on a properly designed electrical system. If your household or office’s electrical needs have outgrown your home’s electrical panel, circuits and outlets, it is time to upgrade. Mister Sparky’s electricians in Huntsville, AL can provide the electrical services that you need. In some cases, the upgrades may require nothing more than adding a few outlets to a room onto an existing circuit when it is sufficient for the extra load.
In other situations, especially with historic homes, it may be necessary to add circuits to your panel. Our electricians in Huntsville, AL can provide for all of your electrical needs. There is only one situation where it is safe to use an extension cord long term. This is your surge protector that plugs into a dedicated outlet and protects your computer from sudden power fluctuations.
There are different types of extension cords manufactured for different uses. For example, extension cords are rated for outdoor or indoor use. Cord sizes are rated for carrying different amounts of power. If you overload the cord, there is a good chance that it will overheat, and this is a very serious fire danger. Ensure that all extension cords are certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as UL, CSA, or ETL, and read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
An estimated 3,300 residential fires originate from extension cords annually, killing 50 and injuring about 270 others. Continual use can cause rapid deterioration of the insulation, creating a dangerous shock and fire hazard. However, fire isn’t the only risk related to extension cords. Each year injuries involving fractures, lacerations, contusions, or sprains are caused by people tripping over extension cords. A heavy reliance on extension cords in the home or office is an indication that you have too few outlets. Additional outlets can be installed by licensed electricians in Huntsville, AL.
In addition, when undersized cords are used the cords can overheat, but the device plugged into the cord can be damaged, resulting in failure of the device. Check the cord for the amount of power it can safely carry, and the device for the amount it draws. The same can be said for surge protectors. It is not safe to plug surge protectors into other surge protectors. Feel the cords periodically when in use. If they are hot to the touch unplug them immediately.
You should never hide extension cords under carpets and rugs, they can still cause someone to fall, and it poses an additional fire hazard to an overheated cord. The cords also pose the danger of small children being strangled by them, or being shocked when they play with them. It’s a risk you shouldn’t take. Mister Sparky’s licensed electricians in Huntsville, AL can assess your home’s electrical system and provide recommendations for a safer, and more functional home for you. Contact Mister Sparky’s dedicated and licensed electricians for the installation of additional outlets or other electrical services. Mister Sparky serves the North Alabama region.