When someone suffers an injury, regardless of whether they are a tenant, contractor, church member, visitor, or trespasser, your church may be liable. Although the Court will take into consideration the reason someone was on the property when they were injured, that doesn’t necessarily protect you from trespassers. This is particularly relevant when a dangerous condition is known to exist, but no steps are taken to correct it.
A church owner can be liable if found to be is negligent in the failure to use reasonable care to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition. The church must use reasonable care to discover any unsafe conditions and to repair, replace, or give adequate warning of anything that could be reasonably expected to harm others.
Extension cords and flexible cords shall not be a substitute for permanent wiring and shall be listed and labeled in accordance with UL 817. Extension cords and flexible cords shall not be affixed to structures, extended through walls, ceilings, or floors, or under doors or floor coverings, nor shall such cords be subject to environmental damage or physical impact. Extension cords shall be used only with portable appliances. Extension cords marked for indoor use shall not be used outdoors.
Extension cords shall be plugged directly into an approved receptacle, power tap, or multiplug adapter and, except for approved multiplug extension cords, shall serve only one portable appliance. The ampacity of the extension cords shall be not less than the rated capacity of the portable appliance supplied by the cord. Extension cords shall be maintained in good condition without splices, deterioration, or damage.
It’s convenient to run the power cord from one place to another; it’s when the cord gets covered by a carpet or rug that problems start. Extension cords are intended for temporary use, but many churches plug them into various places and they become a permanent fixture; and therefore a fire hazard.
Extension cords can overheat, especially when the wires inside begin to break down because people are trampling on them. This reduces the ability of the cord to transmit current, causing it to get hot. This is especially true in older churches that weren’t meant to run multiple electronics at the same time, let alone computers, mobile phones, and smart tablets all charging at once.
1) Never run a power extension cord under a rug, through a wall, over a beam, or through a doorway or window; 2) Avoid using coiled extension cords; 2) Don’t tack extension cords to the wall with nails or staples; 3) If you have to use a temporary extension cord, plug in only one item per cord; 4) If an extension cord feels unusually warm to the touch, unplug it from the wall outlet and buy a new one; 5) Make sure it’s UL-certified and the right cord for the job; 6) Always protect extension cords used outdoors or in wet locations with a ground fault circuit protector even if it is an outdoor extension cord; and 7) Never slice, tape, or otherwise repair and extension cord.
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Disclaimer: Every situation is different and particular facts may vary thereby changing or altering a possible course of action or conclusion. The information contained herein is intended to be general in nature as laws vary between federal, state, counties, and municipalities and therefore may not apply to any given matter. This information is not intended to be legal advice or relied upon as a legal opinion, course of action, accounting, tax or other professional service. You should consult the proper legal or professional advisor knowledgeable in the area that pertains to your particular situation.