Why Your Love Affair with the Extension Cord Could Cause You Problems

Within the space of a generation, the typical Australian has become unbelievably connected and able to take advantage of an amazing array of technological devices. Many of these devices are enjoyed at home and need to be connected to an electrical source in order to work. Yet a very large number of people still live in a property that was designed many years ago and way before this electronic revolution materialised. The result is a proliferation of electrical extension cords in the average house. Why is this a bad idea and what should you be doing to fix this?

Old Versus New

There are far more electronic devices and appliances in the modern-day home than there were before. When the house was originally wired, a sufficient number of receptacles were installed to cater for the average household and the needs of the time. There was no way of predicting the explosion in the number of devices now seen as being "essential" by families. This situation is particularly problematic in the average living room, where electrical extension cords are the order of the day.

Temporary Means Temporary

These cords are not meant to be permanent suppliers of power to any devices. They are meant to be temporary, even though most people do not treat them in this way. Remember, they're exposed to everyday wear and tear and can quickly deteriorate. If they do so, they can become a fire risk and could provide an unwitting family member with a nasty electric shock.

The Risk

Just have a look around the entertainment centre in your home to see how many of these multi-receptacle products you have. It's likely that they are hidden out of the way, because they are not particularly pleasing to look at. Some people actually try and locate them within furniture items, or even beneath the floorboards. In these cases, it's not unusual for the products to overheat, especially if overloaded by too many products with a high rating.

The Solution

The first thing that you need to do is to check the wattage rating of the device that you want to plug in against the specification of the cord product and make sure that it is "okay." Under no circumstances should you connect more than one or two of these large devices to a single extension cord. If you find that you simply don't have enough receptacles after conducting this analysis, you need to get an electrical contractor into the home. They will rewire accordingly, so that you have one receptacle for each major device.