Common Electrical Violations

The improper use of extension cords, power strip devices and the improper connection of appliances to said items have the potential to create a shock hazard or overheat and cause a fire. The following are the most common forms of preventable electrical hazards.

 1) Improper use of power strip surge protectors: Every power strip needs to be plugged directly into a wall outlet. It should not be plugged into a different power strip nor should it be plugged into an extension cord.

2) Use of unapproved electrical devices: The multi-outlet device on the wall is an unapproved electrical device. It does not have an “Underwriters Laboratory” (U L) or a “Factory Mutual” (FM) listing. It also lacks “over – current protection”, nor does it have a reset switch. All of the features mentioned are requirements of the 2012 International Fire Code which the University of Arizona references.

 3) Improper use of extension cords: This mini-refrigerator cord (gray cord) has a ground pin not being utilized.  The extension cord is also improperly sized (appliance cord is heavier gauge wire than the extension cord).  Extension cords are to be used for temporary service only and with portable appliances such as a drill, cell phone charger or a laptop docking station.

 4) Extension cords are not to be affixed to structures, extended through walls, ceilings or floors, or under floors, floor coverings, nor subject to environmental damage or physical damage.

5) Insufficient work space around electrical equipment: A working space of not less than 30 inches in width, 36 inches in depth and 78 inches in height shall be provided in front of electrical service equipment.


If you have any questions regarding fire safety issues involving electrical equipment, you can call Jeff Warren @ 520-349-9143 or 520-621-2921. You can also contact Jeff through email at