Extension cords and power strips have the potential to cause fires, electrical shock, loss of power to equipment, and facility damage.
Use of extension cords at University of Michigan (U-M) is restricted to only providing temporary power for portable equipment (e.g., maintenance, cleaning, audio-visual, or construction activities). If an extension cord is used, U-M policy states the extension cord must be:
- Certified by a nationally recognized laboratory (UL, CSA, ITSNA)
- Used only in continuous lengths without splice or tape
Before using an extension cord:
- Inspect it and remove it from service if it is damaged
- Verify it is suitable for the use and location of the equipment
Restrictions to Extension Cord Use
Extension cords cannot be:
- Connected in series to another cord or power strip (daisy-chain, piggy-back)
- Continually connected to an outlet for more than 1 work day
- Used with equipment drawing more than 15 amp
- Used as a substitute for fixed wiring of a structure
- Attached to building surfaces
- Concealed by walls, floors, or ceilings or located above suspended or dropped ceilings
- Installed in raceways, except when permitted by Code
- Run through:
- Holes in walls, ceilings, or floors
- Doorways, windows, or similar openings
- Placed where it is subject to physical damage
Power Strip and Surge Suppressors
While a surge suppressor is a power strip, not all power strips are equipped with surge suppression.
- Power strip: A block of electrical sockets that allows multiple electrical devices to be powered from a single electrical socket.
- Surge suppressor: An appliance/device designed to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes.
Using Power Strips or Surge Suppressors
When using power strips or surge suppressors, only:
- One power strip or surge suppressor is allowed per duplex electrical outlet
- Low current devices such as radios, computers, printers, etc. are allowed to be plugged into it
NOTE: Scientific equipment must be plugged directly into the primary wall outlet. If sensitive lab equipment requires a surge suppressor, it must be noted in the labs standard operating procedures.
Restrictions on Power Strip or Surge Suppressor Use
Power strips or surge suppressors cannot be used:
- In a series (daisy-chain, piggy-back)
- With equipment containing a heating element
For More Information
- Technical Support: EHS at (734) 647-1143
- Adding New Outlets: Facilities Maintenance at (734) 647-2059
- Electrical Hazards