Are you planning on buying or using an extension cord to use an appliance or get work done? It's important to remember safety and avoid electrical or fire hazards. Here are several things to remember when using extension cords around your house or yard!

Avoiding Overloads

It's not a good idea to connect cords to other cords – consider buying a longer extension cord if you need it! You should also be careful of using an extension cord for more than one large appliance around the house – this can create overloads. Take a look at the ratings and specs for your cord to make sure that it's the right kind for your purposes, and never try to use a three-pronged cord if you really need a two-pronged version, or vice-versa. If you need these cords regularly, consider having more outlets installed instead: It's not a good idea to use these cords constantly, since they can overheat if used for too long or if overloaded.

Placing Cords Properly

As you can imagine, running cords through water or snow is a bad idea. However, you should also avoid running them under carpets, through walls, through ceilings, or anywhere else where the cord is covered. Those cords put out heat – and if that heat can't escape, it may start a fire. Keep cords out in the open (just don't trip over them). It's also smart to uncoil cords fully while using them so they don't overheat that way.

Outdoor Extension Cords

There's a significant difference between indoor and outdoor extension cords. Outdoor cords are designed for use in harsher conditions and have different safety features, designed for specific jobs. Pay close attention to what the outdoor cord was made for, what its ratings are for wattage and wire type, and what environments it should be used in.


Store the cord in a cool, dry area that won't get covered with debris or dust. Don't store them outdoors if possible. When you are ready to use your cord again, check it for damage or wear-and-tear. It's a good idea to replace older cords with new versions to avoid accidents.

For more information on electrical safety and services, talk to Ragsdale and let us help out with your next project.

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