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Avoid Using Male-To-Male Extension Cords
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Illinois consumers buy products expecting them to work properly and safely. However, some items slip through the cracks and turn out to be dangerous. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is urging people to immediately stop using male-to-male extension cords for their safety.

CPSC issues urgent warning about specific extension cords

The CPSC has issued an urgent warning about a specific type of extension cord. The male-to-male extension cords, sold by online retailer Amazon, are often mistakenly used with generators and have three-prong plugs on either end.

The extension cords have earned the nickname “suicide” cords because one end has live electricity when the other is plugged in, which carries the risk of shock or electrocution. In addition to those serious risks, the cords can also cause a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. The CPSC added that the male-to-male extension cords also do not comply with the country’s safety codes.

CPSC warns that extension cords could kill

The CPSC further warned that the male-to-male extension cords can kill people even if they know how to use them. Individuals who regularly perform DIY jobs might get a false sense of security that using protective utility gloves can prevent potential problems, but they can still get electrocuted.

As previously mentioned, the extension cords can pose the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. The cords are very short, which means that using them with a generator requires the generator to be placed dangerously close to the home. This could result in carbon monoxide poisoning throughout the house, posing a significant risk of death to the occupants. It’s also why generators should be at least 20 feet away from a home with the exhaust positioned in a different direction.

As an alternative to these dangerous products, the CPSC says that people should get a transfer switch and have it installed by a professional. This device pulls electricity from generators and prevents the serious risks the male-to-male cords carry.

The extension cords have not been recalled, but the CPSC questions why this is the case. An Amazon spokesperson claimed that they were removed from the online retailer’s website.