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Can You Identify the Hazards

The photo below shows potential fire and liability hazards. Click on the numbers to find out what they are. 

  1. Homemade extension cord using non-metallic sheathed wiring with an electrical outlet connected at the end
  2. Power strip plugged into the extension cord.
  3. Window air conditioner plugged into the power strip.
  4. Trip and fall hazard from the power strip location on the floor surface.
  5. Extension cord running under the bottom of the door creating a pinch point and possible short circuit if insulation is damaged or wire is pinched.
  6. The portable folding chairs are not properly stored and create a trip and fall hazard. Also, the door would not be able to open fully, which could hinder exiting the room under emergency situations.

What Should Have Been Done?

The window air conditioner was added to provide additional cooling. There was not an electrical outlet installed close enough to plug this unit into. The extension cord was added and the power strip was used to provide protection from overloading of the circuit by relying on the strip’s built-in breaker.

Temporary wiring is not compliant with the National Electrical Code (NEC) and increases the risk of electrical equipment failure and fire. Wiring extension cords is in violation of local and national electrical codes. In addition to being in violation of applicable codes, temporary wiring may not be properly sized for the voltage and current.
Additional electrical service was needed and permanent wiring of the proper size and current carrying capacity should have been installed by a licensed electrician. This would have eliminated the fire hazards created and also eliminated the trip and fall hazard from the excess cords on the walking surface.

The portable folding chairs should be properly stored out of normal traffic areas when not in use. This would eliminate the tripping hazard and allow for full swing of the door and easy exit from this room.

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