Do you know that extension cords are safety hazards? In a rough sketch, more than 4000 injuries occurred that are related to extension cords and 3300 of them were home fires. Can you die from keeping the extension cord plugged in? Yes, so far, more than 50 people have died for this!
So, whenever you ask us- is it safe to leave extension cords plugged in, we reply with a big NO! Never make the extension cords your permanent electrical outlet and never leave them plugged in!
Right now, you might just go through a little electric shock but in the future, it can turn into a fire hazard and other unwanted accidents!
Should you Leave Extension Cord Plugged in?
You are charging the laptop for a while with the extension cord, go for it. But when you plan to settle for an extension cord for your generator, it can go wrong! You must know which device is designed for what and how it can hold up. For powering the devices via the generator, we suggest you go for a 30 amp automatic transfer switch or the 50 one!
The first thing you must keep in mind is that extension cords are designed for temporary use. You cannot use them for permanent use at all. Usually, we plug them into different places. And as the day goes by, the extension cord gets to be a permanent fixture! And if you are doing this, this is not safe my friend!
And usually, when you use an extension cord for permanent use and you keep it plugged in permanently; this can result in a severe fire hazard! So, in short, we would like to tell you, it is not safe to leave extension cords plugged in!
What happens if you Leave Extension Cords Plugged in?
We already know that leaving an extension cord plugged in or making it permanent is not safe. But what happens if you do so?
If you leave extension cords plugged in and you forget about it, there is a chance that your kids or your pets go through the sockets not knowing that there is an extension cord. So, eventually, they will step onto it and will face electric shock. Moreover, if you are not careful and you forget to switch it off and then don’t remember it, you can also step onto the socket and get an electric shock! This can turn into serious accidents too! So, it’s better to keep the extension cords plugged out.
When you use the extension cord for permanent use, more often, you forget to switch it off. We use it for so long that we forget that it is required to be switched off! And whenever it comes to permanent use, if you are living in an old house, chances are, the cords have gone through a long way. It might be from under the carpet or through the doorways.
If you don’t know how to hide extension cords on the carpet, it will be tough to understand if the cable is fine or not. After long-term use, the cords can easily get torn or damaged. In this situation, the wires will break down easily as you and others will trample on the wires! And when the wire or cable gets damaged, it doesn’t stay anymore. You can see severe consequences.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Use
Not all extension cords are designed for using outdoor. Most of the cords are specifically made indoors. Some of them are manufactured for the outdoor. If you go to the market, you will see the outdoor extension cords are specially marked. Or you can simply pick up the 10 gauge extension cords for outdoor, it will do the work! Now, if you have tried the indoor cord outside before and nothing serious happened, you might have been lucky. But never use the indoor extension cable for the outer area.
Sometimes, you use the indoor extension cord in the yard or the deck and keep it plugged in without switching it off. And if there is rain or in any other way, the indoor extension cord gets wet, chances are, you will face grave misfortune! So, learning how to keep outdoor extension cords dry is something you must learn beforehand. Otherwise, this can cause a serious fire that can burn down the whole house with the human being inside! If you want to keep the family and the house safe, the best thing you can do get select the right extension cord for the right place and always keep them plugged off when not in use!
Another thing that happens when you keep the extension cord out plugged in that can cause serious difficulties. When you keep the device out on the floor, the table, or the bed, it does not stay straight. As it is a wire, the wire gets tangled or round-up at times. And when the extension cord is coiled or twisted, there is a chance of accidents. Coiled-up extension cords can result in a damaged wire. And when it is plugged in, the electricity can easily get out when you touch it.
Let us tell you that a plugged extension cord is just like the exposed outlet on the wall. Will you keep the electrical outlet exposed and increase the chances of destruction? No! Then why are you keeping the extension cord plugged in! The best thing you can do is to plug it off when you are not using it and store it somewhere safe.
Now, the worst part-we will talk about a fire hazard. Whenever you keep the extension cord plugged in for the whole day or night or days, there is a possibility of the device getting hot. The worst-case scenario is, when you keep the extension cord plugged and completely covered, it gets hot. After a long period of being plugged in, it will get hotter. Eventually, the cord will not be able to transmit the current. And it will get too hot for the extension cord to bear it.
And the house will face a fire hazard. If you are going to sleep keeping the extension cord plugged in every night without any stress, it’s time to worry about it! Because, according to the statistics, the cord overheating issue mostly occurs at night and also, chances of fire hazard and other serious accidents usually take place in this hour. So, it is very wise to keep the extension cord plugged out before you go to sleep to avoid any sort of minor or grave mishap.
We never recommend you to leave the extension cords plugged in because they can go from subtle electric shocks to burning down the whole house! It’s always better to be safe than to be sorry.
So, after you are done working with the extension cord and before you go out of the room, make sure you switch it off and store it properly. And don’t forget to check out the blog for more info about the electrical stuff of your house!
I’m James. The author of Electricalaffairs.com. It’s been my passion to deal with power tools and gears. This website is mainly to talk about electrical wirings, lighting, various power source tools and accessories. I want to explore tackles and help people to grow their basic knowledge about electrical things. I would also like to help people to pick the right power tool for their daily needs.