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CityLink Seattle

Overloaded Extension Cord Danger

overloaded outlets

Earlier this week a fire from an overheated electrical extension cord caused significant damage to a Seattle residence. Fires caused by overloaded circuits and overheated extension cords increase during the winter months.

Here are a few tips to prevent fires caused by overloading outlets and cords:

• Avoid using extension cords and plug adapters. Extension cords are designed to provide a temporary power source.
• Make sure extension cords are not tacked to walls, run under rugs, or through doorways.
• Utilize power strips with internal circuit breakers instead of extension cords to prevent overheated electrical extension cords.
• Consider having a licensed electrician add an outlet if needed.
• Never use an extension cord with a portable heater.
• If an appliance produces heat (like toasters, rice cookers, coffee makers, kettles, portable heaters, irons, etc.) unplug it when not in use.
• If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.

extension cord overheated