REACH Electrical Use and Hazards in Your Business

Fire Code covers the use of Extension Cords and Relocatable Power Taps (RPTs), such as surge protectors or power strips. They are allowed to provide TEMPORARY power for portable electric devices. They must be polarized or grounded, at a rated capacity greater than the device, plugged directly into an electrical outlet, and not connected to other RPTs or extension cords to extend length.

Extension Cords and Relocatable Power Taps CANNOT be used as a substitute for permanent wiring, run through walls or ceilings into concealed spaces, run beneath carpet or rugs, and cannot be attached to the building structure. They CAN be used to provide power to computers and their accessories, they should be equipped with surge protection, and elevated off the ground if possible. Long cords should be uncoiled to prevent overheating.

Extension Cords and Relocatable Power Taps should NEVER be used to power anything with a heating element (including portable heaters), and they are NOT rated for appliance use. Most RPTs are rated for 1500 watts maximum. Safe use of RPTs and Extension Cords are a MUST for any occupancy.