Extension cords could pose fire hazards

Extension cords could pose fire hazards

Submitted by Kim Hopkins, owner of The Electric Connection

Do any of your appliances use an extension cord? If your home or business depends on the use of extension cords for more than a temporary fix, you might want to consider upgrading your electrical system. Extension cords are surprisingly hazardous. On top of that, in many cities including in Los Angeles, their long-term use violates the local electrical code.

Many residential fires are started by extension cords. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that about 3,300 residential fires originate with extension cords each year. The CPSC website states: "The most frequent causes of such fires are short circuits, overloading, damage, and/or misuse of extension cords."

Its first safety recommendation regarding extension cords is, "Use extension cords only when necessary and only on a temporary basis."

Many local building codes, including in Los Angeles, have made permanent use of extension cords a violation. If you want to reduce hazards related to extension cords, consult a Los Angeles electrician. While you might need a new electrical circuit, very possibly the problem may be solved simply by adding a more conveniently-placed electrical outlet.

Kim Hopkins has been an electrician in Los Angeles since 1979. His company, The Electric Connection, is a leading electrical contracting company in the LA area. Hopkins has conducted trainings on electrical safety for home inspectors throughout Los Angeles. His company offers homeowners and businesses free safety checks with any job.

As of Oct. 21, 2011, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check AngiesList.com for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.


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