Extension cords and power strips can be extremely useful when you’re trying to get a charger or other electrical wire to reace the power outlet. But there are some things you absolutely shouldn’t do with an extension cord or power strip.

They can be life-threatening.

During the cold winter months, many of us resort to small electric heaters to bring some warmth to our homes. But, this equiptment is one of the big culprits for house fires. From 2009 to 2013, heating equipment accounted for 56 000 home fires, reports the National Fire Protection Association.

Because of the high risks, The Umatilla County Fire District has published an urgent warning on their Facebook page.

Extension cords and power strips are perfect to have at home when you don’t have enough power outlets for your appliances,  but there is a limit to how much power a power strip or extension cord can handle. If it becomes overheated, the consequences can be dire, and in the worst case, cost you your life.

To understand how much electricity your power strip can take, you need to check the voltage of each of your appliances. However, there is one common household appliance that is more of a risk than others.

When it’s cold outside, most of us turn up the heating. But if that’s not enough, an electric heater is usually the go-to solution for many. They’re compact, portable and can heat up a room relatively quickly.

But as well as heating up your room, they also make your power cord work overtime. Even if the heater is the only thing you have plugged into your power strip, it poses a risk.

The Umatilla County Fire District wrote the following warning on Facebook:

“The weather is getting colder, and people are pulling out their space heaters. We just wanted to remind you that you should NEVER plug a heater into a power strip. These units are not designed to handle the high current flow needed for a space heater and can overheat or even catch fire due to the added energy flow. Please share and stay safe this Winter season.”

The weather is getting colder, and people are pulling out their space heaters. We just wanted to remind you that you…

Posted by Umatilla County Fire District #1 on Thursday, November 30, 2017

According to The National Safety Fire Administration, half of all house fires are started in December, January och February.

So be on the safe side and check how much electricity your extension cord and power strip can handle before you use them. Always read the safety instructions and make sure that the cord isn’t damaged before use.

Also regularly check that your smoke alarm is working to avoid being one of the many victims of house fires.


Share this article with your nearest and dearest on Facebook so that they’re also aware of the risks!