Can You Plug An Extension Cord Into A Power Strip?

Are you looking to expand the number of outlets in your home or workspace? Power strips and extension cords are common solutions for this problem. However, it’s important to understand the potential dangers of overloading your outlets and the safety guidelines for using these electrical devices.

When it comes to plugging in your devices, it’s tempting to simply plug an extension cord into a power strip for additional outlets. But is this a safe practice?

In this article, we’ll explore the answer to this question and provide tips for using power strips and extension cords safely to avoid any electrical hazards. So, whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner, read on to learn more about how to protect yourself and your property from potential electrical dangers.

Understanding Power Strips and Extension Cords

You might be tempted to plug an extension cord into a power strip, but it’s important to understand that doing so can pose a serious safety risk if you overload the circuit.

Power strips and extension cords are both used to increase the number of available outlets, but they have different functions. Power strips are designed to accommodate high-energy devices, such as computers and televisions, while extension cords are intended for low-energy appliances, such as lamps and fans.

It’s important to note that power strips and extension cords have different power ratings. Power strips typically have a higher rating than extension cords, which means they can handle more energy. When you plug an extension cord into a power strip, you increase the risk of overloading the circuit. This can cause the wires to heat up and eventually melt, which can lead to a fire.

To avoid this safety risk, it’s recommended that you only use extension cords for low-energy devices and power strips for high-energy appliances. Additionally, you should never daisy-chain power strips or use them as permanent fixtures.

Always check the power rating of the device you plan to plug in before using a power strip or extension cord. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you’re using these devices safely and effectively.

The Dangers of Overloading Your Outlets

Don’t risk a potential fire hazard by overloading your outlets. It may be tempting to plug in all of your electronics into one power strip, but doing so can be incredibly dangerous. Overloading your outlets can cause them to overheat and potentially start a fire.

Here are three things to keep in mind to avoid this dangerous situation:

  1. Know the capacity of your outlets. Each outlet in your home has a limit to how much electricity it can handle. Exceeding this limit can be a recipe for disaster. Make sure you know the capacity of each outlet and don’t exceed it.

  2. Be mindful of the devices you plug in. Some devices require more electricity than others. For example, a hairdryer uses more electricity than a phone charger. Be mindful of the devices you plug in and how much electricity they require.

  3. Use power strips only as a temporary solution. Power strips are designed to be a temporary solution for when you need to plug in multiple devices in one area. They are not designed to be a permanent solution for your electrical needs. If you find yourself regularly using power strips, consider hiring an electrician to install additional outlets in your home.

Remember, overloading your outlets is a serious safety hazard. By following these three tips, you can ensure that you’re using your outlets and power strips safely and responsibly. Don’t put yourself or your home at risk by overloading your outlets.

Can You Plug an Extension Cord into a Power Strip?

So, you’re wondering if you can plug an extension cord into a power strip? Well, the short answer is yes, but the long answer is a bit more complicated.

While it may seem like a convenient solution to your electrical needs, there are some serious risks involved that you should be aware of before you start plugging in all your devices.

The Short Answer

Fortunately, it’s perfectly safe to plug an extension cord into a power strip, but there are some important considerations to keep in mind. Here are a few things to keep in mind before plugging in your extension cord into a power strip:

  • Check the power strip’s capacity: Make sure that the power strip can handle the power load of the extension cord. If you plug too many devices into the power strip, it can overload and cause a fire hazard.

  • Use a heavy-duty extension cord: Don’t use a thin, lightweight extension cord with a power strip. The power strip is designed to handle heavier loads, and a lightweight cord can overheat and cause a fire.

  • Don’t daisy chain: Don’t plug one power strip into another power strip. This is called daisy-chaining and can cause an overload, which is a fire hazard.

By following these simple guidelines, you can safely use an extension cord with a power strip and avoid any potential hazards. Remember to always prioritize safety when dealing with electricity.

The Long Answer

When using an extension cord with a power strip, it’s important to consider the capacity and weight of both devices to prevent potential fire hazards. Extension cords are designed for temporary use, while power strips are made for long-term usage. Therefore, when you connect an extension cord to a power strip, you will be putting an additional load on the power strip. If the power strip is not equipped to handle the extra load, it can overheat, causing a fire.

To avoid such hazardous situations, it’s essential to understand the electrical capacity of both the extension cord and the power strip. Here’s a table that can help you determine the correct combination of extension cord and power strip:

Extension cord wire gauge Maximum length Power strip rating
16 AWG 50 feet 15 amps
14 AWG 100 feet 15 amps
12 AWG 150 feet 20 amps

Using the table, you can select the right combination of wire gauge, maximum length, and power strip rating. It’s also important to note that you should never plug a power strip into another power strip or extension cord, as it can lead to electrical overload and cause a fire. By following these guidelines, you can safely use both extension cords and power strips for your electrical needs.

The Risks Involved

Be aware of the potential risks that come with connecting multiple electrical devices together. Plugging an extension cord into a power strip may seem like a convenient solution for powering multiple devices, but it can pose a serious fire hazard.

The risk of overheating and electrical fires increases when too many devices are connected to one power source. This is especially true if the devices draw a lot of power, like space heaters, air conditioners, or power tools.

Additionally, using an extension cord that’s not rated for the power demands of the connected devices can lead to overheating and a potentially dangerous situation. Always make sure that the extension cord and power strip are rated for the power demands of the devices you plan to use.

It’s also a good idea to periodically check the cords for any signs of wear or damage and replace them as necessary. By being aware of the potential risks involved, you can take the necessary precautions to keep your home and family safe.

Tips for Using Power Strips Safely

Using power strips safely is crucial, so it’s important to follow these tips:

  • It’s essential to use power strips that have been certified by a recognized testing laboratory. This ensures that the product has been thoroughly tested and meets safety standards. Avoid using cheap or uncertified power strips that may not have adequate protection against electrical surges or overheating.

  • Never overload a power strip by plugging in too many devices at once. Each power strip has a maximum amperage rating that should not be exceeded. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the maximum load capacity of your power strip. Also, avoid using power strips for high-wattage appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, or space heaters.

  • Always inspect power strips for any signs of damage before use. This includes frayed wires, bent prongs, or damaged sockets. If you notice any damage, replace the power strip immediately.

  • Never use a power strip that feels hot to the touch or emits a burning smell. This could be a sign of a serious electrical problem that requires immediate attention.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you use power strips safely and prevent electrical accidents.

Tips for Using Extension Cords Safely

Now that you know how to use power strips safely, let’s talk about extension cords. They can come in handy when you need to plug in devices that are far away from a power source, but you need to use them safely to avoid electrical hazards. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Check the cord’s rating: Make sure the cord can handle the amount of power you need. Overloading an extension cord can cause it to overheat and start a fire.

  2. Don’t use damaged cords: If the cord is frayed, cracked, or has exposed wires, don’t use it. It’s not safe and could give you an electric shock.

  3. Use the right type of cord: There are different types of extension cords for different purposes. Outdoor cords are designed to withstand the elements and have a higher rating than indoor cords. Using the wrong type of cord can be dangerous.

  4. Don’t daisy chain cords: Don’t plug one extension cord into another. This can overload the circuit and cause a fire. If you need to reach further, use a longer cord instead.

By following these tips, you can use extension cords safely and avoid electrical hazards. Always remember to inspect your cords before use and never overload them. Stay safe!

Alternatives to Using Extension Cords and Power Strips

It’s time to explore other options to keep your home safe from electrical hazards. While extension cords and power strips may seem like convenient solutions, they can also be risky if not used properly. Fortunately, there are alternatives that can help you avoid potential dangers.

One option is to install additional outlets where you need them. This may require the help of an electrician, but it can provide a safer and more convenient solution in the long run. By having outlets in the right places, you can avoid the need for extension cords and power strips altogether.

Another alternative is to use surge protectors instead of power strips. Surge protectors are designed to protect your electronics from power surges, which can be damaging to your devices. They also have built-in circuit breakers that can help prevent electrical fires. While surge protectors may be slightly more expensive than power strips, they provide a safer option for protecting your electronics.

Lastly, consider using wireless charging pads or USB ports instead of extension cords. These options can provide a clutter-free and convenient way to charge your devices without the need for cords or power strips. They can also be safer, as there is no risk of tripping over cords or overloading outlets.

By exploring these alternatives, you can help keep your home safe from electrical hazards while still enjoying the convenience of powering your devices. Remember to always follow safety guidelines when using any electrical equipment, and if in doubt, consult a licensed electrician.


So, can you plug an extension cord into a power strip? The answer is yes, but only if you do it safely.

Overloading your outlets can be dangerous, so it’s important to understand the limitations of your power strip and extension cord. Remember to always check the wattage and amperage ratings of your power strip and extension cord to ensure they can handle the load of your devices.

Use power strips and extension cords responsibly, and follow the safety tips outlined above to minimize the risk of electrical fires and other hazards. By using these tools properly, you can keep your home and loved ones safe while still enjoying all the benefits of modern technology.