Fire departments throughout the United States responded to an estimated annual average of 47,820 reported home structure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction from 2007-2011. These fires resulted in 455 civilian deaths, 1,518 civilian injuries, and $1.5 billion in direct property damage.
To kick off National Electrical Safety Month, here are a few generic tips from Nickle’s Safety Director Mike Anderson on avoiding electrical hazards.
- – Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords
- – Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets
- – Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a certified electrician so you don’t have to use extension cords
- – In homes with small children, make sure there are tamper-resistant receptacles
- – 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
- – You should call a certified electrician if outlets or switches feel warm, you have frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuits, or you have flickering or dimming lights
- – 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, bathrooms, laundry room, basement, and outdoor areas to prevent harmful electrical shock
- – Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) should be installed in your home to protect electrical outlets from catching fire
Stay tuned next Wednesday for more electrical safety awareness from Mike.