In the modern world, we are surrounded by many devices that require electricity to function. We have computers, phones, tablets, televisions, and a host of other electronic devices that all rely on power cords/strips to connect with power.
In many cases, we need to connect multiple devices to a single power outlet. However, it is important to be aware of some of the best practices when using power cords or any other outlets. Here are some things to keep in mind when using power cords:
11 Best Practices For Using Power Cords Safely and Adequately
1. Not to use frayed or exposed wires:
It’s recommended not to use exposed or frayed electrical wires. You should not touch the exposed wires because you could get shocked. It’s recommended that you cover your exposed wiring with insulation. Also, replace the frayed wire totally with a new wire. A frayed wire is dangerous because it might damage your electric appliance. It could even cause your appliance to overheat and burn.
2. Overload by plugging in too many devices:
You should always plug in only one device at a time. Plugging in too many devices at once can cause the power cord to overload. Also, the overloaded power cord could overheat and burn even your home appliances could overheat and cause a fire. So you should try to be very careful when you are using appliances.
3. Power cord placement:
Never place your power cords under heavy furniture or appliances such as sofas, tables, and beds. The cord will get hot if it is under these objects. When you plug in any appliance, the cord is going to get hot. This can cause your home appliances to overheat.
4. Appropriate voltage:
Make sure that the voltage of the power cord is compatible with the device you are using it with. It would be best if you did not use a power cord with a voltage higher or lower than what your device needs, as this can cause damage to your device.
Additionally, ensure that the power cords have the “UL” stamp of approval. It is a stamp from an independent organization that certifies that the cord is compliant with safety regulations and will not cause any problems.
5. Don’t use it too much:
Regardless of how the power cord is used, there must be two things on one end – a plug and a device that the plug connects to. If you use the same cord repeatedly by daisy-chaining them, you are overworking the cord and wearing it out. These conditions may result in heat, sparks, and even a fire.
When possible, you should use different outlets or invest in a power strip surge protector with a switch to turn on/off all devices simultaneously.
6. Check the wattage:
Just you should not use an extension cord to plug in a high-wattage appliance, you should also know how much power your devices consume. Therefore, whenever you use a power strip for your electronics, it is essential to verify each device’s wattage (measured in watts) and purchase a power strip capable of handling their combined load.
The general rule is not to exceed 80% of the capacity of your power strip. This prevents damage to the cord and overheating of the connected devices. If your device consumes more power than the power strip’s capacity, try connecting it directly to the wall outlet.
Whenever it comes to power cables, wattage is king! By knowing how much power your devices consume, you can avoid damaging or overheating your cords and appliances.
7. Keep power cords clear:
Keeping your power cords untangled and organized will ensure that they are easy to use and transparent. In this way, you will not need to worry about tripping over them or becoming frustrated when finding the right one.
You can also label each cord with a tag or sticker to know which one belongs to which device. It is beneficial to have more than one cord for the same machine. In addition, it is a smart idea to keep your cords away from the edge of your desk.
8. Use high-quality front plugs:
The most advisable practice when using power cords is choosing front plugs of high quality. If you use a front plug, you can protect your equipment from maximum damage and ensure that your power cord functions appropriately.
Furthermore, front plugs can provide some protection against electrical shocks. Due to these reasons, it is always recommended to use a high-quality front plug.
9. Do not use light-duty extension cords:
Most light-duty extension cords are referred to as “lamp” cords since they are designed to handle smaller loads, but bigger appliances can severely overload them. According to the National Electric Code, power cords should be sized and used according to the load, and extension cords should never be considered as a permanent wiring solution. If you use an undersized cord, you may experience overheating, resulting in a fire.
10. Do not tie cords in tight knots:
Tying cords in tight knots is never a wise idea, as this can damage the cord and create an unsafe situation. Instead, if you use bundle your cords, try using a cable tie or some other type of cord wrap. This will ensure they remain tangle-free and organized. To use a power code safely, you can check this extension cord safety pdf for more information.
10. Don’t use damaged cords
Damaged power cords can be a fire hazard and should not be used. If you use damaged power cords, you should always inspect them for damage before using them. The following signs of damage are not to be ignored:
11. Use GFCIs
Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are among the best ways to protect yourself from electrical shock while using power cords. GFCIs can prevent up to 75% of all electrocutions. So, if you’re not already using them in your home, it’s time to start! Ensure that all of the outlets in your home used with power cords have GFCI outlet protection.
Power cords are a pain to use. They always get tangled up and in the way, especially when you need them most. For power cords, the most efficient practice is to keep them organized with a cord management system, which will make your life easier.
Therefore, always follow the best practices to avoid damage and create a safe working environment when using power cords. All the above tips will assist you in ensuring that your devices remain powered on and that your cables stay in good condition.