If used improperly, electrical cords can present a variety of hazards in the workplace, including tripping accidents, electric shocks and even deadly fires. A key component of office safety, especially office fire safety, is to keep all electrical cords properly maintained and correctly placed in the work environment.


The fire and damage restoration experts at ServiceMaster Restore want to share these tips with you to help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries caused by electrical cords at your workplace.


Tripping Hazards

Among the most common types of hazards created by electrical cords at work are accidents caused by tripping. Staff or customers can trip over cords and cause serious bodily harm, and even if no one is injured, falls could damage office equipment.


To prevent electrical cords from creating a tripping hazard in your workplace:

·      Rearrange the workspace to ensure electrical cords are kept out of the path of foot traffic.

·      Tape down and clearly mark any cords that temporarily need to extend across doorways, hallways, aisles or stairways.


Electric Shock Hazards

Power cords carry dangerously strong electrical currents. Improper placement or inadequate maintenance of electrical cords can create electric shock, potentially injuring anyone who handles them.


Reduce the risk of electric shock by following these guidelines:

·      Replace an electrical cord as soon as it begins showing signs of wear, fraying or otherwise becomes damaged in any way.

·      Keep all cords away from any sources of water, including open windows and potted plants.

·      Keep all cords away from heat sources.

·      Pull on the plug, not the cord, when disconnecting an electrical product.

·      Always check for certification marks, such as CSA, cUL, or cETL on electrical products, including power cords. These marks indicate that the products are assessed and conform to the required Canadian national safety standard.1


Fire Hazards

Electrical cords that are damaged, frayed or improperly placed can put your workplace at risk of fire, posing life-threatening danger to everyone in the building.


Make sure your power cords do not start a fire by taking the following precautions:

·      Do not overload an extension cord or power strip by connecting it to another extension cord or power strip.

·      Do not overload an extension cord by plugging too many appliances into it at once, especially if the cord is already connected to a powerful appliance.

·      Reduce the amount of extension cords needed by rearranging the workspace and providing easier access to outlets.

·      Do not run electrical cords under a rug, as they can become damaged or heat from the cord can get trapped and create a fire.

·      Create a comprehensive office fire safety checklist for your workplace and ensure that all employees know what to do in case of a fire.


With these tips, you can help prevent accidents and dangers related to electrical cords at your workplace. If you need help determining if there are electrical cord hazards at your facility, call on the experts at ServiceMaster Restore. Our commercial fire restoration experts will walk through your building with you to identify all risks and safety hazards. This way, your employees and customers can stay safe from electrical cord accidents…and give you peace of mind.