Electrical Questions? Ask an Electrician Online.
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Running "lights, refrigerator and heaters etc." on a 16 gauge even a 14 gauge cord 3-400' long will cause the cord to overheat and could cause a fire. It doesn't mater if where they are ultimately drawing their power from is properly protected.
I'm a general contractor in NH I have no credentials in CO and I don't give my name out here. I'm sorry but I can't to more than confirm your suspicions.