Can I use an extension cord for my surge protector?

Technically, yes, but legally, no. Current fire codes in most towns prohibit the use of extension cords for "permanent" wiring in a business. The definition of "permanent" used is any wiring that is left in place for any length of time. Since computers, desk lamps, calculators, and other devices are not unplugged every night, they are considered to be permanently wired.

An extension cord can only be six feet long in a business environment, which is why surge protectors' cords are only six feet long. Note that you are also not allowed to daisy-chain extension cords or surge protectors, to make them longer.

You should check with the building inspector or fire marshal in your town for the laws applying to your business.

December 1998

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