Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Non-print equipment & services: Extension cord safety checklist

  • Check cords regularly for damage or deterioration.
  • Use extension cords only as necessary and only on a temporary basis. Never use as a substitute for permanent wiring.
  • Do not fasten cords to a building or structure.
  • Use a three-prong cord for equipment that has a grounded three-prong plug.
  • Always grasp the plug to disconnect an electrical cord from an outlet, never pull on the cord to disconnect the plug.
  • Insert plugs fully so that no part of the prongs are exposed when the cord is in use.
  • Never place a cord under rugs or furniture or string it through doorways, windows, walls, ceilings, or floors.
  • Do not try to repair a damaged extension cord or splice two wires together. Damaged cords are a potential fire or shock hazard and should be placed immediately.
  • Avoid plugging two plugs together to make a longer one. Extension cords which are connected to one another, or that are too long will reduce operating voltage and the efficiency of equipment.
  • Use an extension cord with the correct size wire (gauge) for the intended use. Do not overload an extension cord or use a light, “household” cord to operate heavy-duty machinery. Overloading may cause excessive heat that may result in a fire.
  • Be sure to check the cord's tag or package for the maximum current and/or wattage rating of the cord.
  • Purchase and use the right cord for the job. Extension cords are sold in various cable sizes which are identified by numbers. Smaller numbers indicate larger wire sizes. For example, a number 10 wire is larger than a number 14.
  • Use good housekeeping practices, such as taping down exposed cords with duct tape, to prevent damage to extension cords and to keep cords from becoming tripping hazards.
  • Ensure the extension cord is used in a dry area.
  • Keep cords away from sharp objects, heat, oil, and solvents that can damage insulation.
  • Inspect all extension cords which have been used off site.
  • Do not allow anything to rest on, or roll over power cords.
  • Never force a plug into an outlet or extension cord.
  • Check floor outlets frequently for damage or caked in dirt.

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