Can we use electrical extension cords or flexible cords?

This is a big problem in every organization – there’s never enough outlets. So, what do you do?  That’s right, plug-in 17 extension cords, so you can run your coffee pot, your air freshener, and charge your cell phone, tablet, reading device, key chain photo album and 15 other electronics.

Sure you can use them, but only for a short duration – typically, less than 30 days.  If you do, they must meet all of the following code sections.  California Title 24 Electrical Code 400.8 and Fire code 605.5.1 and Title 8, Section 2500.8

Risk managers would be best advised to work with their facilities department to implement a policy prohibiting their use, as well as, the mini refrigerators, hot plates, fish tanks and the like.  Trust me, I have seen plenty of schools burned to the ground because of heating lamps on the ole lizard tank.

Here’s an excerpt from the code:

Title 8, Section 2500.8

(a) Unless specifically permitted otherwise in Section 2500.7, flexible cords and cables shall not be used:

(1) as a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure;

(2) where run through holes in walls, ceilings, or floors;

(3) where run through doorways, windows or similar openings;

(4) where attached to building surfaces;

(5) where concealed behind building walls, ceilings, or floors; or

(6) Where installed in raceways, except as otherwise permitted in these Electrical Safety Orders.

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