Each year, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) dedicates the month of May to promoting electrical safety. According to the ESFI, an estimated 47,000 residential fires are caused by an electrical failure or malfunction, resulting in approximately 400 deaths and 1,500 injuries totaling more than $1.4 billion in property damage.
Whether you rent or own your home, electrical safety should be a priority. ESFI has an educational library of resources for assisting homeowners, consumers, older adults and children on electrical safety.
Follow these tips to help keep your home and family safe:
Exercise Extension Cord Safety – When improperly used, extension cords can overheat and cause fires. Over 3,000 house fires are due to extension cord misuse, causing roughly 50 fatalities and 300 injuries each year.
Practice Do-it-Yourself Safety – Many home owners prefer to tackle DIY projects in the home. However, there is an estimated average of 70 deaths by consumer product electrocution, annually, and 400 fatal electrocutions across the United States each year.
Maintain Working Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Almost 3,000 people die in house fires in the United States each year. That’s roughly eight people per day. Nearly two-thirds of those occur in homes with nonfunctioning or with no installed smoke detectors.
Utilize Home Safety Checklists – Simple checklists can help you identify and correct electrical and fire hazards in your home before an emergency occurs.
If you aren’t completely certain how to tackle a project involving electricity, don’t try it! Contact a professional electrician and leave it to the experts. Your life, and that of your family, may depend upon it.