Electrical Extension and Power Cords

Electrical Extension And Power Cords

Updated August 22, 2016


If your event will require extra electrical power either inside or outside, contact Dept of Facilities Electrical/ Controls to provide a temporary power setup. Note:  Your CAC/ Conference Services Coordinator will contact DOF. It is unsafe to run an extension cord from a building to an outdoor event site.

The Dept of Facilities (DOF) prohibits the use of duct tape to secure cords or hang decorations. It leaves a sticky residue, removes paint and floor finish. Use removable tapes and adhesives, such as: Long Mast blue masking tape, Gaffer tape for carpets, poster tape, mounting adhesive putty and tabs. Obtain from MIT's Office Supply Partner and local stores.

The following are ways to use electrical extension and power cords without creating fire, tripping or shock hazards.

SAFE ways to use an extension cord: 

  • Choose a UL listed cord that has a 3-prong plug (grounded) and a heavy duty rating 
  • Plug cord into a wall outlet
  • Run cords in low traffic areas such as along the edge of the wall or under tables  (Facilities prohibits the use of duct tape. Gaffer or long mast tape are OK.)
  • Secure extension and/ or power cord(s) with wide tape to the floor or to table legs. Tie wraps are effective.

UNSAFE uses an extension cord:

Ø  Narrow cord with a 2-prong plug  (easily overheats)

Ø  Plugged into another extension cord, multi-outlet strip or tap. Daisy chain cords will overload the circuit. 

Ø  Across aisles, corridors or stairs 

Ø  Under rugs

Ø  Through, across, and over doorways (damages cord insulation--shock hazard)

Ø  Dangling above the floor

Ø  Strung over or wrapped around overhead pipes or sprinkler heads  (could cause water damage)