Be Mindful of Fire Safety – Including Extension Cords Issues

We recently had FDNY Smart come in to run an information session. They promote fire safety education and offered our tenants some excellent tips about fire safety.

We'd like to highlight a few of their insights about extension cords - as using poor quality ones, or using them improperly, can be very risky:

Gauges

They come in a variety of wire sizes know as gauges. And: "the lower the gauge, the more electrical current (amps) the wire can carry. Thus, 12-gauge wire is heavier than 14-gauge wire. Therefore an extension cord of 16-gauge wire can be used for a table lamp." Items that require more power need a heavier extension cord and as such, one with a lower gauge.

Length

The length of cord must also be taken into consideration. "The ability of any cord to carry electricity decreases as the cords length increases. So, in situations where you might otherwise be able to use a medium duty, 14-gauge extension cord, you may need to upgrade to a heavy duty 12-gauge cord when making a longer run."

Quality

Sometimes a run to a dollar store for a cheap extension cord sounds like a good plan - but, it turns out, there are counterfeit extension cords which "have far less copper wiring than certified cords - and cannot handle high levels of electricity." Keep in mind that extension cords that sell for $.99 are likely to be counterfeit - and therefore, unsafe.

And, of course:

Fire safety tips on Instagram

More tips can be found on their site - including ones geared towards kids

And if you want to your kids to learn about fire safety, in an engaging and interactive way, consider the New York City Fire Museum's program:

"The Museum, in conjunction with the New York City Fire Department, operates a world-class fire safety education program designed to teach participants how to prevent fires within the home and how to protect themselves and escape should a fire occur."

After the program (which is a little over an hour long), the children even get a historical tour of the Museum's first floor, "The Evolution of Firefighting," by a retired New York City firefighter.