May is National Electrical Safety Month
Your #WiseChoice for electricians joins forces with industry and government sources to remind you: be careful out there!
According to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report, there are nearly 31,000 fires and 200 deaths a year that involve home electrical systems. The agency’s report disclosed an average of 48 people per year were electrocuted and killed by consumer products or appliances between 2010 and 2013, with a high of 70 electrocutions in 2010.
Shocker…not. Not during National Electrical Safety Month, anyway. At least not to Nathan Harmeier.
“It is so amazing to me the number of times in a week that one of my team members come across this scenario,” said Harmeier, chief electrician and owner of Above And Beyond Electric Company, Inc., your #WiseChoice for electricians. He referenced the picture of the wire above.
“This wiring was done by a ‘professional’ who will come to a customer’s house who they hire on the side. This wire is feeding power to a microwave, and I can only imagine how much heat and resistance that is being created each time they use their microwave. This particular customer had gone through three different microwaves before we were called out to see what is going on with their electrical wiring. Not only is this costing them lots of money for appliances and to have another electrician come out, but it could have created a more serious problem as well: a fire!”
That’s also one of the three most common product categories in which consumers were hurt or killed during the four-year period of the CPSC’s study: small appliances (ex: microwaves), large appliances and ladders.
“This wire was also under their house,” Harmeier added. “If someone decided to crawl under the house and was not aware that these wires were open without protection, this actually could be fatal.”
The home safety blog SixWise.com reported the six most dangerous spots for electrical hazards are:
- Extension cords
- Electrical outlets
- Electric appliances
- Swimming pools, hot tubs & spas
- Power lines
Also according to the CPSC, 15 consumers were electrocuted and killed between 2000 and 2009 when they used a ladder that made contact with a power line or electrical wire hanging on or near their homes.
The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) offered these safety tips for National Electrical Safety Month:
- Check electric cords for fraying or cracking. Replace cords that may be damaged, and don’t overload electric outlets.
- Remember extension cords are intended to be temporary; they are not intended as permanent household wiring.
- Don’t run cords under carpets or rugs and don’t tack or nail cords to walls or floors.
- Keep electric appliances and tools away from water. Never reach for or unplug an appliance that has fallen into water; instead, turn the power off at the breaker before you unplug the appliance or remove it from the water.
- Never put anything other than an electrical plug in an outlet. Use outlet covers or caps to protect children.
- Keep your home’s electrical system in good repair. Contact a licensed, reputable electrical contractor like Above And Beyond Electric Company, Inc. if you have flickering lights, sparks, non-functioning outlets or need wiring repairs or upgrades.
- Never touch downed power lines!
- Always call your local utility or 911 if you see lines down.
- Watch for overhead lines every time you use a ladder, work on roofs, trees, or carry long tools or loads. Keep kites, model airplanes and metallic balloons away from power lines.
- Know what’s below before you dig. At least three days before starting any digging or excavating project, call 811, the National One Call Center, to have underground utility lines, pipes and cables marked for free.
- Avoid planting trees underneath power lines or near utility equipment.
Click here for the Electrical Safety Foundation International’s (ESFi) comprehensive page on National Electrical Safety Month, and remember: only trust reliable, reputable and licensed electrical contractors like #WiseChoice Above And Beyond Electric Company, Inc. to do professional work.
“It is very frustrating to me when people cut corners or don’t take the time to follow the proper procedures to ensure the safety of the home’s electrical system,” Harmeier said.
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