May is Electrical Safety Month
May is National Electrical Safety Month, time to begin year-round electrical safety awareness efforts, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), Rosslyn, Va.
“Despite the fact that improved product safety engineering, standards and electrical codes have reduced electrical hazards, thousands suffer from electrical shock and fires each year,” said ESFI President Brett Brenner.
To increase electrical safety awareness and protect those at home and in the workplace, ESFI has developed an electrical safety tool kit that includes statistics on electrical hazards and recommendations to avoid electrical shock, burns and fires.
Electricity kills nearly 400 people and injures thousands more each year. Most of these deaths and injuries could be avoided with an increased awareness of electrical safety, such as noting locations of power lines when working outside.
Power line contact with construction equipment, ladders, and gardening tools are among the leading cause of electrocutions. Use of ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to protect against lethal electrical currents can also reduce electrocutions.
Estimates indicate electricity causes 140,000 fires each year. These fires kill hundreds of people, injure thousands more, and cost billions of dollars in property damage. Aging electrical systems, combined with the growing power demands, contribute to electrical fire hazards. Overloaded circuits, flickering lights, and discolored electrical outlets and light switch face plates, point to the need for electrical upgrades. Addressing these hazards can save lives, reduce injuries and cut economic losses caused by electrical fires.
For more information about ESFI, go to www.electrical-safety.org .