Home & Garden

Are extension cords safe to be outside and used 24/7?

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 30th, 2020 10:16 am
[OP]
Penalty Box
Jul 21, 2019
346 posts
652 upvotes

Are extension cords safe to be outside and used 24/7?

Going along with my other post, I am installing security cameras but it is about 25 feet away from the outlet outside so I need to use an extension cord. I plan on having the camera on 24/7 and it will be the only thing using that outlet and cord. Should I be worried about overheating/fires? I was planning on just getting one from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07N4M ... EEQB&psc=1
14 replies
Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2014
746 posts
1142 upvotes
Woodbridge, ON
Yes but it should be plugged into a GFCI and should be rated for outdoors. That said your power adaptor may not be rated for outdoor use. You may need to consider cutting the power adaptor cable and extending the low voltage wire instead which would be safer and typical of a pro install.
Deal Addict
Jun 14, 2008
3233 posts
1981 upvotes
Montreal
Yes but a security camera system that can be unplugged from outside is kinda useless, no?
Sr. Member
Jan 19, 2013
542 posts
323 upvotes
Ottawa
From ESA: https://esasafe.com/safety/home-electri ... or-safety/

Extension Cord Use
Extension cords are a convenient way to bring power to your backyard, deck, dock or campsite. However, safety shortcuts could turn your plans upside down. Follow the principle of "right cord, right place, right use" to stay safe.


Right Cord
Pick the right extension cord for your needs and don’t “make do” with the wrong one:

When outdoors, only use extension cords rated for outdoor use. These are designed to resist outdoor conditions. Don’t take the shortcut of using an indoor cord or power bar even for a short time. It could cause a shock, electrocution or a fire, and it's a violation of the Ontario Electrical Safety Code;
Check the power capacity of your cord to be sure it’s the same or greater than the item you’re planning to plug in. Don’t make do with a lower-capacity cord. For electric power tools, be sure to use a heavy-duty extension cord;
Don’t string multiple extension cords together. Not only is it unsafe, but it will also reduce their power capacity. Your electronic tools or gadgets won’t work properly;
Always use grounded (three-pronged) cords and never remove the grounding pin from the plug. It’s there to protect you. If you have an old two-pronged extension cord hanging around, it’s time to toss it out; and
If you’re using a cord for the first time this season, do a careful check to be sure it’s in good condition. Extension cords stored outdoors in the winter can crack. This could result in a shock, electrocution or fire.

Right Place
Plug your grounded outdoor extension cord into an electrical outlet installed to meet the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. The outlet should have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). If the outlet isn’t GFCI protected, get a portable GFCI outlet adapter at your local home improvement retailer or hardware store; and
Never run extension cords through doors or windows even for a short time. The cord can quickly become damaged from rubbing against the door or window edges or being pinched in the frame.

Right Use
Don’t use outdoor extension cords as long-term power sources. The longer they’re left out, the more risk there is of damage or wear. If you need ongoing power on your deck, dock, or yard, hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor. Have the contractor install permanent outdoor wiring and outlets. Find a Licensed Electrical Contractor near you;
Never bury extension cords or electrical conductors in the ground. Only specially rated underground conductors can be buried. This must be done to meet the Ontario Electrical Safety Code;
Don’t staple extension cords in place or run them over nails, which can damage the cord; and
Use only electrical appliances and tools rated for outdoor use.
Last edited by 1chinaman on Apr 27th, 2020 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2014
746 posts
1142 upvotes
Woodbridge, ON
Defeating outdoor security cameras is so easy, you don't even need to unplug them, let alone be close to them. But they often are a noticable deterrent.
[OP]
Penalty Box
Jul 21, 2019
346 posts
652 upvotes
jzmtl wrote: Yes but a security camera system that can be unplugged from outside is kinda useless, no?
Sort of lol, but there is only 1 way to get to any entrance that the camera will watch. I'm getting a camera that notifies me of any movement at all and automatically uploads data to cloud storage and saves to SD card. So it will definitely get something before it is unplugged/destroyed.

More so scares people, and putting stickers on every window/door saying 24/7 surveillance, criminals aren't gonna try me when they can go to a house without anything.
Deal Addict
Jun 14, 2008
3233 posts
1981 upvotes
Montreal
Brandon26 wrote: Sort of lol, but there is only 1 way to get to any entrance that the camera will watch. I'm getting a camera that notifies me of any movement at all and automatically uploads data to cloud storage and saves to SD card. So it will definitely get something before it is unplugged/destroyed.

More so scares people, and putting stickers on every window/door saying 24/7 surveillance, criminals aren't gonna try me when they can go to a house without anything.
Those cameras draw so little power, as long as you keep both ends of extension cord dry, things will be okay. The extension cord may not last long under directly sunlight though, you may need to replace it every few years.

Although if it's a long term set up I'd probably look at a more permanent solution, for aesthetics if anything.
Penalty Box
User avatar
Oct 13, 2008
4726 posts
1691 upvotes
Both are outdoor. No issues.

Orange was used for the snow blower. From Costco. Heavy duty and very heavy.

Green was used for the Christmas lights. Out there all winter. Then summer used for lawnmower and Trimmer. From Home Depot. Light and can handle the winter.


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Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
12213 posts
6752 upvotes
Brampton
Protect it from the sun. Most of the issues I've seen over the year is the UV damages the insulation, it splits then it shorts. But if it's connected to a "good" GFCI you will be ok.

Make sure the Cord is CSA approved. I'm noticing a lot of crap by Amazon even Amazon Basics sometimes lacks Safety certifications.
Last edited by tebore on Apr 29th, 2020 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sr. Member
Apr 5, 2009
931 posts
230 upvotes
AV-Fishing wrote: Both are outdoor. No issues.

Orange was used for the snow blower. From Costco. Heavy duty and very heavy.

Green was used for the Christmas lights. Out there all winter. Then summer used for lawnmower and Trimmer. From Home Depot. Light and can handle the winter.



IMG_20200429_072920.jpg
That's a lot of empties! hiccup!
Penalty Box
User avatar
Oct 13, 2008
4726 posts
1691 upvotes
stansoltz wrote: That's a lot of empties! hiccup!
Yeah. Don't want to drive to or lineup at the LIMITED inconvenient locations to return empties. Got the room and the boxes. Mind as well keep them until the one that is convenient is accepting empties.
16'x11' Living Room 11' Cathedral Ceiling. Hisense 65Q8G. Denon AVR-S740H 7.2 setup. Jamo Classic 10 280W Towers - FR+FL; Polk S35 - Center; Klipsch R51M - RR+RL; Klipsch R14M - Dolby FHR+FHL; Polk HTS10 Subwoofer x2. Unlocked Android Boxes from Taiwan x2
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
3213 posts
2172 upvotes
Toronto
We just put our empties out at the curb for the local scrap collectors to pick up. I don't need the $5 and hassle of taking them to the LCBO or Beer Store and figure there are people out there making a buck collecting them.
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2018
4565 posts
4616 upvotes
Vancouver
fordmaple wrote: Yes but it should be plugged into a GFCI and should be rated for outdoors. That said your power adaptor may not be rated for outdoor use. You may need to consider cutting the power adaptor cable and extending the low voltage wire instead which would be safer and typical of a pro install.
Cutting a power adapter low-voltage cable and extending it may not work. I've found that putting in even a 10 ft. extension can cause the device to stop working because the voltage delivered is too low.
Sr. Member
Nov 6, 2014
746 posts
1142 upvotes
Woodbridge, ON
Scote64 wrote: Cutting a power adapter low-voltage cable and extending it may not work. I've found that putting in even a 10 ft. extension can cause the device to stop working because the voltage delivered is too low.
Ah, I've done over 100ft with cat 5e using 12v 2A no problem. If its a 5v camera, I'd agree. Most (not all) outdoor cameras are 9v or higher. The common voltage is 12VDC.

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