May is National Electrical Safety Month

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) promotes electrical safety across North America by facilitating public education throughout the year and observing National Electrical Safety Month (NESM) each May.

Facts & Figures

  • Roughly half (48%) of home electrical failure fires involved electrical distribution or lighting equipment in 2007-2011.
  • In 2007-2011, 46% of electrical failure home fires involved other known type of equipment. The leading other known type of equipment involved in home electrical failure fires are washer or dryer, fans, and portable or stationary space heater.
  • U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 22,410 reported home structure fires involving electrical distribution or lighting equipment in 2007-2011. These fires resulted in 325 civilian fire deaths, 950 civilian fire injuries, and $817 million in direct property damage.
  • Some type of electrical failure or malfunction was cited as factor contributing to ignition for 74% of electrical distribution or lighting equipment home structure fires.

Electrical safety tips

U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 47,820 reported home structure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction in 2007-2011. These fires resulted in 455 civilian deaths, 1,518 civilian injuries and $1.5 billion in direct property damage.

  • Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.
  • Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets.
  • In homes with small children, make sure your home has tamper-resistant (TR) receptacles.
  • Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.
  • Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.
  • If outlets or switches feel warm, frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuits, or flickering or dimming lights, call a qualified electrician.
  • Place lamps on level surfaces, away from things that can burn and use bulbs that match the lamp’s recommended wattage.
  • Make sure your home has ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in the kitchen bathroom(s), laundry, basement, and outdoor areas.
  • Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) should be installed in your home to protect electrical outlets.

For more information please visit http://www.nfpa.org/education

Electrical Safety In The Home – Dan Doofus Video

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