May is National Electrical Safety Month!

frayedcord_3May is National Electrical Safety Month and a good time review electrical safety practices.

Electricity has become such a necessary part of our lives that we tend to take it for granted, but using it safely is vitally important. Thousands of people in the United States are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires and accidents in their own homes each year.

The National Fire Protection Association reports than an average of 51,000 electrical home structure fires occur each year, claiming almost 500 lives, injuring more than 1,400 people, and causing more than $1.3 billion in property damage. In addition, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that nearly 400 people are electrocuted in the U.S. each year.

The sad reality is that in many cases, electrocutions and electrical fires can be prevented by following some basic electrical safety guidelines. Here are some tips you can follow to reduce your risk of electrocution, electrical shock, or an electrical fire in your home.

Electrical Safety Tips to Help Avoid Tragic and Costly Injuries:

  • Use appliances and equipment according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Replace damaged electrical equipment or have it repaired at an authorized repair center.
  • Make sure power strips, cords and surge suppressors are designed to handle the loads for their intended use. Avoid overloading circuits by plugging too many items into the same outlet.
  • Use ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection when working where water is near electricity to protect against electric shock.

Here are some more tips from the U.S. Fire Administration.

Facts about Home Electrical Fires

  • Home electrical fires result in greater dollar loss per fire than nonelectrical fires.
  • In 79 percent of home electrical fires, the fire spreads beyond the object where the fire starts.
  • Most home electrical fires involve electrical distribution, lighting or power transfer equipment.
  • Thirty-nine percent of home electrical fires involve outlets and receptacles, electrical branch circuits (for example, interior house wiring), and other electrical wiring.

Before May is over, Take some time to inspect all of the electrical work in your home to prevent a possible smoke or fire damage.