Extension cords are intended for temporary use only and should never be used if torn, damaged, or defective. Power strips and surge protectors are intended to provide protection for electrical devices in the event of a power surge but can be a fire danger if not used appropriately.
- Avoid overloading a power strip or an electrical outlet.
- Never plug power strips into another power strip.
- Review and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Tips from NFPA:
- Check electrical cords often. Replace cracked, damaged, and loose electrical or extension cords. Do not try to repair them.
- Avoid putting cords under rugs and carpets, across doorways, or where they can be damaged or pinched by furniture.
- Use only surge protectors or power strips that have internal overload protection. Use surge protectors or power strips that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- Extension cords are for temporary use only. Have a qualified electrician determine if additional circuits or wall outlets are needed.
- Major appliances (refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, microwave ovens, etc.) should be plugged directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord with a major appliance—it can easily overheat and start a fire.
- Small appliances should be plugged directly into a wall outlet. Unplug small appliances when not in use.
- Window air conditioners should be plugged directly into a wall outlet. Many manufacturers of room air conditioners prohibit the use of extension cords. If the manufacturers' instructions allow extension cords, follow the instructions for the proper type.
- If using an extension cord, make sure it is listed for the correct wattage being used and it is rated for indoor or outdoor use.