MISSISSAUGA, ON, Aug. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - If your long weekend plans include
outdoor fun, chores or camping, you need to take a moment to review
your electrical safety plans. Extension cords are a convenient way
to bring power to your backyard, deck, or campsite but if you take
safety short cuts you could turn your weekend plans upside down. Every
year in Ontario, more than 650 people visit emergency rooms for
electrical injuries. Don't be one of them. Follow the simple
principle of 'right cord, right place, right use' to stay safe.
Outdoor Electrical Safety Tips
Pick the right extension cord for your needs and don't 'make do' with
the wrong one:
When outdoors, only use extension cords rated for outdoor use. They are
designed to resist outdoor wear and conditions. Don't take the short
cut of using an indoor cord or power bar even for a short period of
time. It is a violation of the Ontario Electrical Safety Code and you
will create a risk of shock, electrocution or fire.
Check the power capacity of your cord to ensure it is the same or
greater than the item you're planning to plug in. Don't make do with a
lower capacity cord. For electric power tools, be sure to use a heavy
duty extension cord.
Don't string multiple extension cords together. Not only is it unsafe,
but it will also reduce their power capacity.
Always use grounded (three-pronged) cords and never remove the grounding
pin from the plug. It's there to protect you. If you have an old
two-pronged extension cord hanging around, don't use it in a pinch.
It's time to toss it out.
If you are using a cord for the first time this season do a careful
check to ensure it is in good condition. Extension cords stored
outdoors in the winter can crack.
Plug your grounded outdoor extension cord into a Ground Fault Circuit
Interrupter (GFCI) protected electrical outlet that has been installed
in accordance with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. If the outlet
is not GFCI protected, you can get a portable GFCI outlet adapter.
Never run extension cords through doors or windows even for a short
period of time. The cord can quickly become damaged from rubbing
against the door and window edges.
Don't use outdoor extension cords as long term power sources. The
longer they are left out, the more risk there is of damage or wear. If
you need ongoing power on your deck, dock, or yard have permanent
outdoor wiring and outlets installed by a Licensed Electrical
Contractor. To find a Licensed Electrical Contractor near you, visit
ESA's searchable database at pluginsafely.ca.
Never bury extension cords or electrical conductors in the earth. Only
specially rated underground conductors can be buried and it must be
done in accordance with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code.
Don't staple extension cords in place or run them over nails as they
easily can be damaged.
Only use electrical appliances and tools that are rated for outdoor use.
The Electrical Safety Authority
The Electrical Safety Authority's (ESA) role is to enhance public
electrical safety in Ontario. As a delegated administrative authority
acting on behalf of the Government of Ontario, ESA is responsible for
administering specific regulations related to the Ontario Electrical
Safety Code, the licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master
Electricians, electricity distribution system safety, and electrical
products safety. ESA works extensively with stakeholders throughout
the province to educate, train, promote, and foster electrical safety.
SOURCE: Electrical Safety Authority
For further information:
Kara Fraser/ Nancy Evans
Electrical Safety Authority