Safety Tips Electrical safety

Extension cord do’s and don’ts


Electrical extension cords are used in many office buildings and worksites, and should be treated with caution. The Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation reminds workers that correct use of extension cords is an important component of on-the-job electrical safety.

The following are do’s and don’ts provided by TDI/DWC for working safely with extension cords:


  • Check cords for damage before use.
  • Ensure all equipment and extension cords have the mark of an independent testing laboratory.
  • Fully insert the plug of an extension cord into an outlet.
  • Keep extension cords away from water.
  • Use ground fault circuit interrupters in damp environments.
  • Store extension cords indoors.
  • Unplug extension cords when not in use.
  • Only use extension cords temporarily; permanent wiring should be installed when use of the cords is no longer temporary.


  • Use an indoor extension cord in outdoor environments.
  • Attempt to plug extension cords into one another.
  • Use an extension cord that has a lower wattage rating than the tool being used with it.
  • Overload cords.
  • Force a plug into an outlet.
  • Use a wet extension cord.
  • Overheat an extension cord.
  • Drive over a cord.
  • Drag an extention cord.
  • Place cords under rugs or carpets or in busy areas.