Business / HR

Should Extension Cords Be Unplugged When not in Use?

An extension cord is an easy way to power appliances and other devices, but it can also be dangerous if not used properly. In fact, the U.S. Fire Administration reports that the misuse of extension cords is one of the common reasons for residential fires.

Practical Tips to Avoid a Fire Caused by Extension Cords

1. Unplug the extension cord when not in use. 

The most effective way to avoid a fire hazard is to unplug the extension cord when not in use. If you have appliances or other devices that are permanently plugged into an extension cord, consider installing a new outlet near the device so you can plug it in directly.

2. Inspect extension cords for damage before each use.

Before using an extension cord, inspect it for signs of damage, such as cracks in the insulation, frayed or exposed wires, or loose plugs. If you see any damage, do not use the cord and dispose of it properly.

3. Never overload extension cords.

Extension cords are created for temporary use and are not meant to be overloaded with too many devices. Check the rating on the

4. Keep extension cords out of the way.

Keep your extension cords out of the way, especially if you use them near water or other sources of heat. When possible, use extension cords made for outdoor use.

5. Use the right type of extension cord.

Not all extension cords are created equal. Make sure to use the right type of cord for the job, and always check the manufacturer’s recommendations. For example, an extension cord designed for indoor use should not be used outdoors, and a light-duty extension cord should not be used to power a large appliance.

6. Store extension cords properly.

Extension cords should be stored in a cool, dry place when not in use. Never coil cords tightly or wrap them around objects, damaging the cord and creating a fire hazard.

7. Teach children about extension cord safety.

It’s important to teach children about the dangers of playing with extension cords. Make sure they know to never touch an extension cord if it’s plugged in and never put anything on top of an appliance plugged into an extension cord.

8. Never run extension cords under rugs.

This is another way to create a fire hazard. Extension cords should be kept in plain sight so that you can easily see if they are damaged.

What to Do If a Fire Occurs

Get Out and Call 911

Get out of your home if a fire starts and call 911 immediately. Avoid trying to fight the fire yourself, especially if it’s vast. It’s always safe to leave it to the firefighters.

Avoid Water

There are three classes of fire: A, B, and C. Class A fires are the easiest to put out and require water. Class B fires involve flammable liquids and gasses and should be put out with a dry chemical extinguisher. Class C fires are electrical and should be put out with a CO2 extinguisher.

If an extension cord causes fire, avoid using water to stop it. Water can cause the electrical current to spread, leading to serious injuries or even death.

Smother the Fire

If you can’t put the fire out with an extinguisher, try to smother it with a heavy blanket or cloth. This helps cut off the oxygen supply and put the fire out. However, this is only applicable for small fires, and the area is not dangerous.

Use an Extinguisher

If the fire is pretty extensive, you need to use an extinguisher if you can put it out. You must aim it at the base of the fire and discharge it until the fire is out. Read the instructions on the extinguisher before using it.

Document Any Damage

After the fire is out, remember to document the damage. This is helpful when you make an insurance claim. Take pictures of the damage and make a list of any items that were destroyed in the fire.

Like water damage, fire damage can cause problems down the road if not taken care of immediately. So you should take the necessary steps to mitigate the damage. Learn more here about how restoration companies help you clean up and restore your damaged property.

Call your Insurance Company

Once the fire is out and you have documented the damage, it’s time to call your insurance company. They will help you through the process of filing a claim and getting your home back to normal.

Call a Restoration Company

If the fire has damaged your home, you need to call a property restoration company, such as these PuroClean Middlesex professionals. They help you clean up the damage and get your home back to its original condition. Restoration companies are professionals that have the knowledge and experience to get your home back to normal. They mainly provide fire and water damage restoration, biohazard cleanup, etc.


Extension cords can be a fire hazard if not used properly. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and take safety measures to avoid fires. If a fire occurs, get out and call 911 immediately. Document any damage and call your insurance company.

If the fire has damaged your home, call a restoration company to help you clean up the mess.

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