National Electrical Safety Month: Staying Safe

Each year, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) dedicates the month of May to promoting electrical safety.  According to the ESFI, an estimated 51,000 residential fires are caused by an electrical failure or malfunction, resulting in approximately 500 deaths and 1,400 injuries totaling more than $1.3 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, consumersolder 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.

  • Don’t plug extension cords into one another or overload them
  • Check cord for proper rating for their intended use
  • Inspect for cracks, frays, loose wires and connections
  • Do not nail or staple cords to walls or baseboards
  • Keep all outdoor extension cords clear of snow and water
  • Never use three-prong plugs with outlets that only have two slots
  • Extension cords should only be used temporarily

Outdoor Electrical Safety tips – It is crucial to prioritize safety when it comes to electricity. The great outdoors present unique challenges and hazards that can lead to accidents if not properly managed.

  • Before planting trees near a powerline, speak with a professional to ensure there is enough space for it to grow
  • Be sure to be informed about underground powerlines before you dig
  • Install waterproof covers on outdoor outlets
  • Test your carbon monoxide alarms monthly
  • Never use an indoor extension cord outside
  • Use containers to prevent exposure or water damage when storing electrical products in garage

Indoor Electrical Safety tips – While electricity enhances our modern conveniences, it also poses potential hazards if not managed appropriately. With these tips we can create a living environment that prioritizes well-being and peace of mind.

  • Unplug appliances when not in use to save energy and reduce the risk of fire or shock
  • Never plug a space heater into an extension cord or power strip
  • Never run cords under rugs, doors, or windows
  • Make sure cords aren’t a tripping hazard
  • Keep papers and other combustibles at least three feet away from space heaters and other heat sources.
  • Do not try to repair damaged extension cords
  • Smoke detectors should be replaced every ten years

Utilize Home Safety Checklists – Simple checklists can help you identify and correct electrical and fire hazards in your home before an emergency occurs.

  • Check to make sure your switches and outlets are working properly
  • Switches and outlets should not be warm to the touch
  • Note any discoloration from heat buildup
  • Listen for unusual cracking, sizzling, or buzzing noises coming from outlets and switches
  • Check for loose fitting plugs which can cause overheating and fires

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.

AEP Energy does not guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, freedom from error, or value of any information herein. The information presented is provided “as is”, “as available”, and for informational purposes only, speaks only to events or circumstances on or before the date it is presented, and should not be construed as advice, a recommendation, or a guarantee of future results. AEP Energy disclaims any and all liabilities and warranties related hereto, including any obligation to update or correct the information herein. Summaries and website links included herein (collectively, “Links”) are not under AEP Energy’s control and are provided for reference only and not for commercial purposes. AEP Energy does not endorse or approve of the Links or related information and does not provide any warranty of any kind or nature related thereto.

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