Ah! spring. Laidback dinners, lawn parties, luncheons. The perfect time to turn your backyard into a wonderland. Here is how you can power your dream set up with simple extension cord safety tips and DIY tools.
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One swipe, down Pinterest, and you get hundreds of ideas on 'how to decorate your backyard' or 'ideas for backyard wedding'. Whether it is Christmas or Halloween or a dreamy Gazebo wedding. Fairy lights and fancy appliances are a must. Extension cords come in real handy for bringing these ideas to life. However, with kids playing around, you always have to keep an eye open while using these. After all, these are connectors transmitting power from one source to another, anything could go wrong if you are careless. So here are a few safety hacks and tips that will give you the best use out of an extension cord set-up.

However, before getting to the safety tips, let's have a birds-eye view of the basics. 

Here are a few pointers you should have in mind before buying an extension cord.

1. If you are buying an extension cord for an outdoor project, always make sure it is W rated. This shows that the cord is compatible with wet conditions including rain. You can plan to the moon and back, but you can't control the weather. Extension cords that have W marked on their outer insulation, are a good option for outdoor projects.

2. Your extension cord needs to be ‘grounded’. Outdoor extension cords are quite vulnerable to harsh weather conditions and accidental electrocution due to thunder and lightening is something we want to avoid.
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3. Before buying an extension cord, know its capacity. Every appliance comes with a certain Watt or Amp. The number of units your device is pulling should be compatible with the extension cord you are using. If you randomly connect any device or power source with extension cords, without giving much thought to its capacity, chances are either of them is going to suffer damage. The length of the extension cord is fairly critical to its safety. A 10 gauge extension cord should ideally carry 16-20 AMPS and a little over 1900 WATTS. Perfect to power your outdoor decor and simple appliances. So keep an eye open for compatibility with devices.

Let's move on to some interesting devices and tools that will secure your outdoor extensions cords from bad weather and accidental disconnections.

1. Cord-Dome

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A cord dome is an interesting way to protect your extension cords from rain and debris. It's a very unique product that has a round base with enough space to store two power strips. If you have a couple of extension cords connected to the same power strip, a cord dome is the best option to ensure they stay safe from rain and debris. All you need to do is place your power strips and cords inside the dome, close the lid, twist, and lock! Cord domes are easily available at local hardware stores, however, if you face any difficulty finding one, you can always purchase it from online stores.

2. Cord-a-Pillars

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Let's take a moment to rave about how cute these little guys are! Are you tired of tucking in, extension cords poking out from every corner of your house? Are power strips lying orphaned in your living room? Getting a zap from live wires now and then? Cord Protectors to your rescue. These run like a trail of cute caterpillars, and you can choose your desired length, depending on the size of your extension cord. But don't let these cute guys fool you, these are quite strong and can take in a lot of impacts. Plus, they come in a variety of colors, don't mess up with the decor of your space and are fun to work with. Oh, common! don't they remind you of LEGO days?

However, if you are not in the mood to spend your money on these safety tools, you can always build your own! Disclaimer! It is best to consult an electrician because getting electrocuted won't give you any superpower. 

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Things you will need :
  • Wooden Scraps
  • Table Saw
  • Drill Press
  • Forstner Bits
  • Type III Waterproof Glue
  • Brad Nails
  • Black Paint
  • Polyurethane
1. Using a table saw, cut the sides and end pieces for the bottom half (base) of the box.
2. Take the two end pieces and using a drill press and Forstner Bit, cut out 3 half circles on each side of the end pieces, making it a total of 6 half circles for the box.
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3. Now assemble them, using Type III Waterproof Glue and Brad Nails, in the manner of a simple wooden box.
4. Cut out four extra small square pieces for the legs, to prevent your box from touching the ground.
5. Attach these to the bottom outer surface of the box. Your base is ready.
6. Following the suite, carve out a wooden cover for the base. However, keep in mind that the cover should be slightly bigger than the base but fits tightly to secure the contents inside the box. IT should act as an umbrella for your base. By this time, your set up should look something like this :

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7. Finally, take your brush and black paint and give a few coats to the box, inside out. Top it off with a layer of polyurethane and let it dry completely under natural sunlight. You can pick any color of your choice, black simply in keeping the setup promiscuous and does mess up with your decor.
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Voila! Your DIY ALL-WEATHER CORD BOX is ready for use. This bad guy is going to survive hailstorm, rough winds and snow blizzards like no body's business.

Extension cords are really helpful to create the setup of your dream. Gardens, lawns, yards - play with your imagination. Design it the way you like. Again, it is better if you leave somethings to the professionals. However, if you are planning to experiment with ideas, keep in mind these safety tips and avoid any kind of hazards. Electrocution will not land you up with Marvel, it will only land you up in the ER!