What are they and why are they so dangerous?
Suicide plugs typically are short [foot long or less] pieces of wire that have male plugs at both ends. They are used to ‘back feed’ electricity into and area of the house where the power has gone out. They can also be used to back feed electricity into an RV, outbuilding, shed or work area. Suicide plugs are intended for VERY short term use IF at all.
How are they used? Run your extension cord into a live plug, either in the house or a generator. The other end is run out to the area in need of power where the suicide plug is inserted into a female receptacle and the other end of the suicide plug is inserted into the extension cord. This energizes the dead area.
the first question that you have to ask is WHY is the unpowered area not powered? IF it an outbuilding or RV that is one thing BUT if it an area of your house which used to have power I would think thrice before re-energizing it in any way other than through the fuse or breaker box.
Second concern is that suicide plugs have exposed wires which are HOT aka energized and if someone touches it they can be electrocuted, hence the term suicide plug. IF you are going to use a suicide plug anyway EVERYONE around has to be educated on precautions!
Third concern is both 120 VAC and 12 VDC among other voltages will start fires.
There are other dangers involved in using a suicide plug, but these are the bigger issues.
You may well ask, What prompted this missive?
One of the neighbors was using a suicide plug and didn’t feel the need to warn others [including younger people] that were helping with yard work of the dangers and thought it was funny when confronted,