Hospital emergency rooms report around 4,000 injuries caused by electric extension leads each year. Many of these injuries come from slips, trips and falls because the cables are incorrectly stored.
Many fires in the home come from faulty extension cords with the potential for injuries and death.
Inspection of equipment
Make sure to unplug the extension lead and switch off the socket before making any checks
- Check the plug is correctly wired and the fuse rated correctly. Using a larger size fuse can allow excessive current and be a fire risk.
- Check there is no damage to the plug or cable and that there are no internal wires showing.
- Be aware of fraying to the cord or cracking to the socket and any loose connections.
- Burn marks suggests overheating and are a warning to replace the cord, equally if the cord feels hot you should not use it.
- Make sure any wires are not trailing or forming a trip hazard; this will prevent injury from slips, trips and falls and also prevent damage to the lead.
- If there is any doubt over the safety of the equipment get a professional electrician to check it thoroughly.
- Check the voltage, amperage and wattage is right for the power supply you are connecting it to and the cord is properly rated for the device being used and for indoor or outdoor use.
Storage and use
- Use tape to attach extension cords to floor or walls since staples or nails can cause damage and lead to accidents from fire or electric shock.
- Keep leads away from damp or wet areas.
- During use, keep cords clear of any tools.
- Use temporary storage by hanging extension cords over work areas or aisles to reduce trip hazards.
- Do not use power cords to lift electrical equipment
- Loop cords for storage rather than tying them into knots which can cause short circuits and shocks.
- Do not use extension cords as permanent wiring, rather as a temporary power supply to an area that does not have a socket.
- When using an extension cord outside you should have a protective covering to prevent vehicles passing directly over them.
- Do not run extension cords through walls or ceilings to avoid overheating and a resultant fire hazard.
- Cords should not be caught under furniture or in windows or doors as this can damage insulation.
- To avoid a tripping hazard keep cords out of doorways and corridors.
Accident Advice Helpline
If you have suffered an injury associated with an extension cord as the result of an accident caused by someone else then Accident Advice Helpline can assist you in making a claim for compensation.
Whether the cause of your accident was a trip, slip or fall or faulty electrics, our professional advisors on the Freephone helpline will be able to offer the best advice to complete your claim on a no-win no-fee** basis. Call us today on 0800 689 0500 for more information.
Date Published: July 22, 2015
Author: Accident Advice