Tips on packing electronics and other electrical household items are easy to come by. What’s not as common is how to safely deal with their electrical cords or whether they are fixed, detachable or retractable. Do we tie them up? Tape ’em down? Wrap them around what they’re attached to?
Here are the answers: Yes (in a way), yes (if necessary) and no (not usually, but sometimes).
Let us explain.
The most common quick solution for a cord that can’t be detached is wrapping it around the unit it’s attached to. In a moment we’ll look at an instance where that is okay, but for the most part that is not what we want to do. Wrapping a cord around the unit can lead to pinching, creasing or even splitting that cord (which may be an extreme concern but hey, weird things happen).
Instead of winding that cord around your toaster, fold it up to make it look like brand new cords often do when they are fresh out of the manufacturer’s box. Then wrap it up in its own bit of packing paper. This will keep the cord safe while making sure the plug’s metal prongs don’t scratch other nearby surfaces.
Protip: Avoid crushing that looped-up cord between items or against the inside wall of the carton. If need be let out a little slack so you can tuck it in a safe and adequate space.
Protip #2: Sometimes, as with this blender, a cord actually can be wrapped neatly and safely around the unit. But the importance of wrapping the cord remains, particularly with the plug and its bendable metal prongs.
If a cord can be detached from its unit, then detach it! This eliminates the possibility of unexpected pressure damaging the cord at the point of contact with its unit. Fold (or loop) it up and wrap it separately from the unit it goes to.
Obviously, we’ll want to pack the cord and the unit in the same box. What might be less apparent is the possibility that the customer (or the unpacking crew) will take that rolled-up wad of packing paper and, unaware there’s a cord inside, toss it out with the rest of the used paper. Simple but critical solution: write “POWER CORD” or something on that wad of paper in big lettering that can’t be missed. Wrapping a piece of box tape around that paper-packed cord can also grab the unpacker’s attention.
Protip: Taping that wrapped cord to the side of its (wrapped) unit can also help keep it from getting discarded. Just be aware what is being packed around it, as we did with the fixed cord above.
It may seem a little silly for us to have to say, “If a cord is retractable, retract it before packing up the unit”, but we’re willing to risk silly if it means fewer claims for you guys. Items that often have retractable cords include pressure cookers, crock pots and, as we see here, irons.
As we also see here, a retractable cord might not retract all the way, leaving the plug and its metal prongs sticking out like hungry fangs. Once again, our remedy is to wrap that plugin paper and tuck it into a space where it won’t end up biting something as that box gets bumped and jolted on the way to the customer’s new home.
Protip: Remember that irons can hold water in that little tank/reservoir thing. Check to make sure that tank is empty before packing that iron up. And yeah, make sure it isn’t hot when you grab it.
To sum up, it’s easy enough to just tuck that cord into whatever space there might be in the box you are packing. And it may make the trip just fine. But taking these extra, simple measures can make a big difference – especially in the minds of our customers.