The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning consumers to "immediately" stop using male-to-male extension cords sold on Amazon.com due to shock, electrocution, fire and carbon monoxide poisoning hazards.
The extension cords have two three-ring plugs on either end and are marketed as a way to “back-feed” electricity to a residence during a power outage by connecting a generator to an outlet in the home.
However, when plugged into a generator or outlet, the opposite end has live electricity, posing a risk of serious shock or electrocution, the CPSC warned Thursday in an alert posted to their website.
Additionally, the flow of electric power in the opposite direction of the intended flow of power "circumvents safety features of the home’s electrical system and can result in a fire."
The agency also noted that the short length of some of these cords means consumers need to use a generator closer to the home, which creates a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Also known as "suicide plugs," these cords do not comply with applicable national safety codes.
The extension cords were sold in multiple colors on Amazon.com for between $40 and $72. Some of the cords had a known Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs), which can be found in the products URL bar — typically after the product name and “dp” — and in the product details section of the listing on Amazon.com under “Additional Information.”
CPSC urges consumers not to purchase or sell male-to-male extension cords and to stop using and dispose of these products immediately. Report a dangerous product or a product-related injury on www.SaferProducts.gov.