Extension cords — often considered a handy item to have on your dairy — can be dangerous when used improperly. Wisconsin Public Service offers these precautions to help you use extension cords safely:

1. Do not cut the third prong off of an extension cord. This prong serves as the “ground” and protects you from electrical shock.

2. Pay attention to the cord’s maximum current or wattage rating. Overloading can cause excessive heating, or even a fire.

3. Use an extension cord with the correct size of wiring or gauge for a particular task. For example, don’t use a household-type cord to operate heavy-duty machinery.

4. Avoid plugging two extension cords together, as this increases the risk of an electrical hazard.

5. Route the cord away from machinery, animals and walkways where it’s easy to trip over the cord.

6. Don’t use an extension cord in wet areas.