As mounting flat screen TV’s to the living room or bedroom wall or above the fireplace becomes more and more common, there is an increasing amount of flat screen TV, speaker, and home theater installers who are putting you and your family at risk, sometimes unknowingly. DXGWKVASVS5X Most customers who want their new LED, LCD, plasma or smart TV mounted also want that nice clean look that can only come from concealing the audio video wires and power. A/V wires, like HDMI, optical, RCA/composite, component, and speaker wires are all low voltage and can safely be concealed inside the wall. However, the electrical power cord is a little more complicated.
Some flat screen TV, speaker, and home theater installers or do-it-yourselfers will run an extension cord inside the wall right along with the a/v cables. No extension cord is rated or approved to be used inside a wall, per National Electric Code (Article 400.8) published by the National Fire Protection Association. Doing so is a fire hazard and against the law in many jurisdictions. There is no form of licensing for flat screen TV installers, nor are they electricians in most cases. And so some are unaware of this fire hazard. There are also some who are simply unscrupulous and think the danger is a myth due to over cautiousness. Prospective customer must be vigilant to insure they get the job done right.
Installation of a new power outlet that you can plug the flat screen TV directly into is the standard code compliant method. However many charge at least $80 and up to several hundred for a brand new independent outlet. Fortunately, some more reasonably priced code compliant solutions are now on the market. One of the more common is a PowerBridge which is very similar to installing a new outlet but can be installed without working with live electricity, switching breakers off, or accessing the basement or attic. It is still a bit pricey though at around $60. No Cables Attached, a Houston based TV and home theater installer, offers an even more affordable option (under $10) as part of their installation services and do-it-yourself flat screen installation kits. Regardless of the solution you choose, never let anyone run an extension cord inside your wall.
Some will think, “Well, I have never seen an extension cord start a fire on the outside of the wall. Why would it start a fire on the inside?” Consider this scenario. On a hot summer day standing outside in the open air may feel a bit uncomfortable to you or I. But go sit inside a closed parked car. It is burning up. This is similar to what happens inside a wall. The extension cord generates the same amount of heat, but in that confined space it can not dissipate. Over time it can get hot enough to melt the cord and then create sparks that can cause a fire. When it comes to your family’s safety it’s better to be safe than sorry. And with the increasingly more affordable options on the market, there is no reason to cut corners.