CenterPoint EnergyElectric Transmission and Distribution
Do's and Don'ts for Extension Cords

To prevent home fires and other electrical accidents when using extension cords, follow these guidelines:

  • Use an extension cord only as a temporary connection.
  • Check the ampere rating - abbreviated "A" or "amps." The appliance plugged into the extension cord should not exceed that rating. (An appliance’s amps equal its wattage divided by 110.)
  • Use a heavy-duty, grounded, three-pronged cord when working with power tools.
  • Always check cords for frays, cracked insulation and damaged plugs.
  • Don't use lamp-type extension cords (No. 18 wire) for any device drawing more than 7 amps. Use a heavy duty cord with No.16 or No.14 wire instead.
  • Don't run extension cords across foot traffic areas or near water.