Faulty Vehicle Extension Cords a Risk for Fire: MPI

Block Heater Plug CordA reminder from Manitoba Public Insurance to check your vehicle extension cords.

Faulty and broken extension cords have contributed to a number of fires due to “electrical arcing.”

“During bitterly cold winter temperatures, Manitobans will plug in their vehicles to heat various engine fluids (anti-freeze/oil), allowing for easier starting,” a news release from MPI reads. “Extension cords which are cracked or have exposed wires should be replaced. Corrosion can be caused by exposure to moisture, dirt and road salts. With personal safety in mind, people are advised not to plug in their vehicles within a garage or any other enclosed structure.”

Safety tips for extension cords/block heater plugs:

  • Don’t drive over your extension cord. This can cause cracking/breaking during bitterly cold weather.
  • Cover your block heater plug-in with its protective cover.
  • Unplug your block heater by using the hard, rubber end. Pulling on the electrical cord can cause breakage and potential electrical issues.
  • Have your block heater cord inspected each fall by a qualified mechanic.


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