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Avoid a vehicle fire ─ inspect your extension cord

As Manitobans deal with extreme cold temperatures, Manitoba Public Insurance is encouraging vehicle owners to inspect their extension cords. Every winter in Manitoba, several dozen vehicle fires are the direct result of damaged extension cords or worn block heater/in-car heater plugs.

A cracked extension cord or block heater cord with a corroded plug can result in "electrical arcing" which can quickly spark a fire. Extension cords which are cracked or have exposed wires should be replaced. Corrosion can be caused by exposure to moisture, dirt and road salts.

Safety tips for extension cords/block heater plugs

  • Don't drive over your extension cord. This can cause cracking/breaking during bitterly cold weather.
  • With personal safety in mind, people are advised not to plug in their vehicles within a garage or any other enclosed structure.
  • Take the time to visually inspect your extension cords to ensure no obvious signs of damage or exposed wiring.
  • 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.