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Substantial Product Hazard List: Extension Cords

Final Rule: July 21, 2015

Effective Date: August 26, 2015


CPSC specified that extension cords (both indoor and outdoor use extension cords) missing one or more readily observable characteristics, as set forth in the proposed rule, constitute a "substantial product hazard" under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA).

 The Commission determined that:

  • Minimum wire size; sufficient strain relief; polarization; continuity; outlet covers (for indoor cords); and flexible jacketed insulation (for outdoor cords) are all readily observable characteristics of extension cords;
  • the identified readily observable characteristics are addressed by a voluntary standard, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Standard for Cord Sets and Power-Supply Cords, UL 817, 11th Edition, dated March 16, 2001, revised February 3, 2014 (UL 817);
  • conformance to UL 817 has been effective in reducing the risk of injury from shock and fire associated with indoor and outdoor extension cords; and
  • extension cords sold in the United States substantially comply with UL 817.


Historical Documents:

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