Rethink your use of extension cords says Utah Fire Marshal

Dec 20, 2022, 5:00 PM
Extension cords are one of the overlooked potential hazards during the holidays a Utah fire officia...
Reexamining the use of extension cords is one of the tips the Utah Fire Marshal had for KSL NewsRadio this week. (Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah State Fire Marshal Ted Black wants you to know an easy way to make your home safer, especially during the holiday season.

First and foremost, lighten up on the extension cords. “They were never meant to replace permanent wiring,” Black told KSL NewsRadio, “and shouldn’t be run underneath rugs or walking surfaces.” 

He said you should call an electrician to create safer, permanent wiring for your home.

Extension cords should also be kept away from water — like that bowl of water under the tree — and they should always be kept away from kids and pets.

And if the cord is frayed, or you have a question about whether or not to use it, run with that instinct. “Either get it repaired or buy something new,” Black said. 

“It’s not worth the risk.”

Other fire safety tips you may have forgotten

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are considered to be peak days for home cooking fires. Do you have the lids for all of your pots in the kitchen? Having those at the ready can greatly help in the event of a kitchen fire, Black said. 

And being tidy can help too. Knowing where everything is, and everything being in its place can really count when seconds count.

And sure, you bought a fire extinguisher 10 years ago. But where is it? And, does it still work? The National Fire Protection Association said disposable extinguishers should be replaced every 12 years, and rechargeable extinguishers should be recharged every six years.

And here’s the tough one.

“Throw your tree out if it gets dry,” Black said. “I realize nobody wants to throw the tree out before Christmas, but if you run your hand across that tree and the needles come off readily, it’s time that that goes outside.”

Other reading: Be Ready Utah: Fire Prevention Week … are you prepared?

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Rethink your use of extension cords says Utah Fire Marshal