Electrical cords are a staple in machine shops, on construction sites and pretty much anywhere power is needed to get a job done. Unfortunately, finding cords that are damaged, frayed or cut is just as common. By taking proactive approaches when first purchasing cords, you can save yourself time, money, and hassle later on. Here are 3 ways to "extend" the life of the extension cords on your work site:
- Properly store cords while not in use
When cords are not being used, unplug and store them in a dry, clutter-free area out of the weather. Leaving them lying around puts them at risk of being damaged and can create a tripping hazard.
- Avoid yanking/straining cords
Even though some cords are built for heavy duty use, straining cords can cause the inner wiring to loosen and pull away from the terminal. To avoid this, plug cords as close as possible to where you are working to avoid overextending them. Also, when unplugging cords, pull the plug, not the cord!
- Keep cords clear of sharp edges and objects
Cords that are plugged in one room and being used in another have the potential to get caught around door/window edges and become damaged. Similarly, cords left haphazardly around saws and other tools can also become damaged and expose underlying wiring. The outer covering is a line of defense, so keep it intact! Be mindful of the work area and take steps to keep your cord clear of these objects that can damage them.
Taking proper care of cords not only saves money, but it reduces the likelihood of a fire, accidental electrocution, and other preventable events. Always make sure to inspect cords for damage before use and when it doubt, take it out! Using these and other best practices is a great way to create a safer workplace by making small adjustments to your daily routine.
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