Electrical extension cord safety

Extension cord

It is critical to personal safety to use and maintain extension cords properly. There are some basic safety rules to follow when working with electrical extension cords:

  • Understand the hazards
  • Use the correct cord for the job by means of length, gauge, and wattage
  • Select cords resistant to moisture, heat, and chemicals
  • Inspect cord and plug
  • Do not use damaged cords or try to repair them
  • Uncoil the cord to prevent overheating
  • Always use a GFCI for damp or wet areas
  • Ensure equipment is turned off before plugging in
  • Always store indoors
  • Do not use extension cords as permanent wiring
  • Do not run across walkways or under rugs where cords can be damaged, cause a trip hazard or overheat
  • Do not attach cords to walls with nails or staples
  • Never plug into another cord for length, this could start a fire

By: Courtney Rosengartner
Sr. Loss Control Specialist


Business & Legal Resources (BLR)


Extension cord
This document is intended for general information purposes only, and should not be construed as advice or opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. The content of this document is made available on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind. This document can’t be assumed to contain every acceptable safety and compliance procedures or that additional procedures might not be appropriate under the circumstances. Markel does not guarantee that this information is or can be relied on for compliance with any law or regulation, assurance against preventable losses, or freedom from legal liability. This publication is not intended to be legal, underwriting, or any other type of professional advice. Persons requiring advice should consult an independent adviser. Markel does not guarantee any particular outcome and makes no commitment to update any information herein, or remove any items that are no longer accurate or complete. Furthermore, Markel does not assume any liability to any person or organization for loss of damage caused by or resulting from any reliance placed on that content.

*Markel Specialty is a business division of Markel Service, Incorporated, the underwriting manager for the Markel affiliated insurance companies.
Was this helpful?