10 Outdoor Extension Cord Safety Tips

extension cord safetyElectricity is needed both indoors and outside. A residential electrician is familiar with both jobs, an important fact at this time of year for those in need of outdoor outlet installation or repair. The chief reasons relate to fall weather arriving and the onset of the holidays.

Using these types of cords outside means following established extension cord safety practices. Below are a list of 10 safety considerations that would be endorsed by any electrician in Arlington:

Cord Differences

People sometimes under the mistaken assumption that indoor and outdoor cords are interchangeable.. That error can lead to, at minimum, costly outlet repair and at worst, destruction of your property or even death. That harrowing fact is why being attuned to that simple fact is vitally important.

Don’t Go Cheap

A truly basic issue that some may overlook involves the legitimacy of the extension cord itself. Always avoid using cords that lack evidence of having been tested in an independent laboratory, with UL the most prominent example. Otherwise, you’re taking a risk on a substandard product.

Checking for Damage

Extension cord usage, like everything else, means wear-and-tear will take place. Frayed wires can result or maybe the need for repair of an outlet becomes clearly evident. The bottom line is to make sure that a licensed residential electrician tackles this job.

Don’t Overload

A fact that can be overlooked in the zeal to put up holiday lighting is that overloading an extension cord.is tempting fate and might end up requiring a visit from an electrician in Arlington for outlet repair. Avoiding extension cords altogether and instead scheduling an outdoor outlet installation is the best plan.

Keeping Cool and Dry

While outdoor cords will deal with the elements, putting them in areas where standing water or the occasional snow accumulation takes place can cause damage. Proper extension cord safety also means that they should be allowed to let the heat within the cord dissipate.

Avoid Using Longer Cords

Another overlooked aspect of putting up holiday lighting or using yard maintenance tools is the inevitable desire for convenience. Some homeowners look to use one long extension cord instead of having another outlet installed outside. The problem is that longer cords can’t handle as much current as shorter ones, which present problems for big holiday lighting presentations or that fall yard work.

Cleaning Gutters Beforehand

No one wants to clean gutters, but performing this task before putting up any outside lighting can help avoid an inadvertent tragedy from developing. The danger involved relates to the heat from an extension cord that might come into contact with leaves still in the gutter, which lead to the start of a fire.

Too Much Heat

While current is supposed to be traveling through a working extension cord, one that’s hot to the touch or is making the plug feel the same way should be a red flag. The easiest solution is to no longer use it, although having an electrician take a look at your set up might be good advice.

Not a Permanent Fix

Extension cords are supposed to be a temporary solution to an issue you might have outside your home, not a permanent presence. Contacting an electrician to have an outlet or two installed eliminates that issue. Given the short window for your holiday lighting, that job should be performed sooner rather than later.

Don’t Mess With the Prongs

For those with two-prong outside outlets, there can be an urge to remove the grounding pin on an extension cord to make it fit for your yard working or for lighting purposes. That’s a recipe for disaster and should be avoided with a simple outdoor outlet installation.

Experience and Trust Combined

An easy way to insure extension cord safety for your outdoor outlets is to contact J&B Electrical Services for your outlet repair or installation. The residential electrician we send can perform those tasks promptly and at a fair price, while also performing any necessary replacements or upgrades. J&B has the electrician in Arlington you need, so give us a call at 817-266-5499.

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