Well shorter lengths for me now. Good information. Those cords was meant to hang on the wall of the shop or trailer and only play out what was needed.

I'll have stay aware of anything that will be a heavy load on them and unwrap when that is the case.

I never bought an extension cord on a retractable reel but they sell a lot of them. Surely the instructions don't state to pull the whole thing out.

I bet the cord reel that melted in the pic was way overloaded for a long period and would have probably failed even stretched out, the fact it was on a reel probably greatly reduced the time it took to do so.

Had a waterbed heater cord burn through the wood underneath the mattress and never tripped the breaker nor burn a hole in the rubber water bed.