As we wrap up National Electrical Safety Month with ESFI.org, I found a great article on air conditioning and fan safety to keep in mind as the weather gets warm.
Hot weather brings increased use of air conditioners. Contact with electric current from air conditioners accounts for a significant number of electrocutions and electrical injuries each year. ESFI recommends that you always contact a qualified, licensed electrician to perform any electrical work in your home, including the installation and services of air conditioning and other cooling equipment.
Facts and Statistics
* According to the CPSC, 15% of consumer-product related electrocutions are attributed to large appliances. These electrocutions occur most commonly while someone is attempting to service or repair the appliance.
* In 2006, an estimated 33,500 injuries were reported to hospital emergency rooms as involving air conditioners, fans, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air purifiers, and heat pumps. The leading types of injuries were laceration (14,890), contusion or abrasion (6,110), and strain or sprain (4,430).
* In 2006, air conditioning or related equipment was involved in an estimated 7,400 reported U.S. home structure fires, with associated losses of 270 civilian injuries and $200 million indirect property damage.
* In 2003-2006, the 7,000 reported home structure fires per year involving air conditioning and related equipment included 2,400 per year involving central and room air conditioners specifically and 3,700 per year involving fans.
* In 1995-2003 (excluding 1999, which was not reported), there were 11.5 electrocution deaths per year involving air conditioners and 4.3 electrocution deaths per year involving fans.
Cooling Equipment Safety Tips
* Keep safety in mind when selecting cooling equipment for your home.
* Have a qualified, licensed electrician install and service any electrical equipment in your home.
* Have electric-powered equipment inspected and maintained regularly for safety.
* Make sure your equipment has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.
ESFI.org has great tips on staying safe this summer in and around pools and spas.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that since 1990, there have been 60 electrocutions and nearly 50 serious electrical shocks involving electrical hazards in and around swimming pools.
Pool and Spa Safety Tips
* All outdoor receptacles should be covered to keep them dry. This is especially important around pools, spas and other summer water activities.
* Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) for electrical devices used outside to help prevent electrocutions and electric shock injuries.
* Make sure all electrical equipment used for swimming pools (even the cleaning equipment) is grounded.
* Electrical devices and cords should be kept at least 10 feet away from water sources such as pools and spas.
* Never handle electrical devices when you are wet – either from water activities or from perspiration.
* Make sure there are no power lines over a swimming pool.
* Do not swim during a thunderstorm.
* To avoid electric shock drowning, have an electrician inspect and upgrade your pool, spa or hot tub in accordance with applicable local codes and the National Electrical Code® (NEC).
Surge Protection – Keeping your Electronics and Home Safe
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters – Your Protection from Electrocution
May is National Electrical Safety Month; ESFI.org has published a great check list for your homes electrical issues. Use this checklist to ensure that you can identify and correct potential electrical hazards.
May is National Electrical Safety Month, which means it’s time to check your year-round electrical safety awareness efforts, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).
It is estimated that electricity causes 140,000 fires each year. Aging electrical systems, combined with the growing power demands, contribute to electrical fire hazards. Overloaded circuits, flickering lights, and discolored electrical outlets and light switche point to the need for electrical upgrades. Addressing these hazards can save lives, reduce injuries and cut economic losses caused by electrical fires. This is where the electrical contractor comes in.
“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 Brett Brenner, ESFI president.
Each year, electricity kills nearly 400 people and injures thousands more. Increasing awareness of electrical safety could help avoid most of these deaths and injuries. Power line contact with construction equipment, ladders and gardening tools are among the leading causes of electrocutions. Use of ground-fault circuit interrupters to protect against lethal electrical currents also can reduce electrocutions.
Take time this month to re-evaluate your safety practices and help others raise their awareness.
Many people ask; “after a lightning strike how can I properly test my electrical wiring?” or “my home was hit by lightning, what should i do?”
After lightning strikes, we highly recommend having CurrentSAFE® electrical hazard detection test performed on your home. This test locates any electrical hazards concealed behind your walls; during the CurrentSAFE® process our technician will inspect the wiring inside the walls using minimally invasive tools.
North Carolina ranked on the Top Ten States for Number of Lightning Claims by State Farm in 2014*. Lightning may not seem as destructive as other disasters, yet a strike can cause serious damage to electrical equipment and appliances, disrupt electrical service for long periods of time, and spark fires. In 2014, State Farm paid nearly $149 million dollars for insurance claims as a result of damage from lightning strikes.