Consumers Often Underestimate the Dangers of Damaged Electrical Cords

Consumers Often Underestimate the Dangers of Damaged Electrical Cords
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It may seem trivial, but did you know that damaged power cords are an often overlooked source of injury and even death?

It's true! Damaged cords have a high potential for electric shock and fire, which is why safety codes are very strict about these types of hazards.

All electrical cords can become frayed and damaged from use and should be inspected frequently. The most common type of damage comes from removing the plug from the outlet by jerking on the cord rather than pulling the plug by hand. It's such a problem that some large companies have even begun implementing in-service training about the issue as well as discuss it during new hire orientation. Over time, this mishandling tears the protective sheathing around the wire and detaches the plug from the head, thereby exposing energized wires. Pinched cords, resulting from a cord becoming trapped between a two objects, or stretched cords, resulting when an object is hung by its cord, can also cause shorts and fires and are a common source of damage.

A less common problem, though no less serious, is caused by damaged or missing ground prongs, which is the third, rounded prong on the cord. Either damaged from mishandling or intentionally removed to fit two prong outlets, ungrounded plugs pose significant electrocution risks.

What can we learn from this article? Use caution when using electrical cords. Never jerk a cord, pinch a cord, or hang an object by its cord. Remove an item from service immediately if the item has a damaged cord and have it repaired of replaced.