Category Archives: Electrical Safety Holidays

Air Conditioner and Fan Safety

 
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.
 
 
Summer Safety
 
 

Childproof Decorating Tips

 
The holidays are a magical time of year for children…wonderful candies, shiny new toys and glitzy decorations. The most cherished traditions of the holiday season can also be hazardous. The safety of our kids must be a concern during the holiday season.
 
* Read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels for any decoration that will be used around young children, such as electronic trains or animatronic dolls. Note if it is appropriate for their age group and determine whether adult supervision is required; plan accordingly.
 
* Instead of traditional candles, try using battery-operated candles so you can avoid the hazards associated with open flames.
 
* Keep candles, matches, and lighters out of reach in a locked cabinet.
 
* Never leave children unsupervised when candles are lit.
 
* Strings of lights and garland are staples of holiday decorating, but they can also pose a strangulation hazard. They should never be used as playthings.
 
* In homes with small children, try to avoid using decorations that are sharp or breakable. Otherwise, remember to place glass and breakable ornaments out of the reach of small children.
 
* Avoid putting Christmas tree lights, ornaments, metal hooks, and other small “mouth-sized” decorations near the ground or on lower limbs where they may be easily reached by young children.
 
* Holly berries, wax fruits, and other decorating items can present choking hazards.
 
* Remember to keep this in mind when arranging your decorations.
 
* Cover any unused outlets on extension cords with plastic caps to prevent children from coming in contact with the live circuit.
 
* Place electrical cords out of the reach of small children.
 
* Never allow children to play with lights, electrical decorations, or cords.

 
 
 

Christmas Tree Safety Tips

christmas-tree-blank
Follow these basic safety guidelines to help prevent electrical and fire hazards related to the use of Christmas trees.
 
*When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard than a dry tree.
 
*Cut 1-2 inches from the base of the trunk immediately before placing the tree in the stand and filling with water to ensure water absorption.
 
*Because heated rooms dry out live trees rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water by refilling daily.
 
*When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.” This label indicates that the tree is more resistant to burning.
 
*Don’t use electrical ornaments or light strings on artificial trees with metallic leaves or branch coverings.
 
*Place your tree at least 3 feet away from all heat sources, including fireplaces, radiators, and space heaters.
 
*When trimming a tree, only use non-combustible or flame-resistant materials.
 
 

Indoor Lighting & Electrical Decoration Safety Tips

ChristmasLights
While decorative lights and other electrical decorations add to the splendor of the season, they can increase the risks of fire and electrical injuries if not used safely.
 
 
 
 
* Always purchase electrical decorations and lights from reputable retailers.
 
* Use lights approved for safe use by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
 
* Never connect more than three strands of incandescent lights together.
 
* Consider purchasing LED lights, which use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights.
 
* Before decorating, determine how many outlets are available and where they are located. Plan your displays accordingly.
 
* Carefully inspect each electrical decoration. Cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections may cause a serious shock or start a fire.
 
* Follow the manufacturer’s use and care instructions that accompany electrical decorations.
 
* Avoid overloading electrical outlets with too many decorations or electrical devices. They can overheat and cause a fire.
 
* Make sure that cords are not pinched in doors, windows, or under heavy furniture, which could damage the cord’s insulation.
 
* Do not mount / support light strings in a way that might damage the cord’s insulation.
 
* Always unplug electrical decorations before replacing bulbs and fuses.
 
* Turn off all indoor / outdoor electrical decorations before leaving or going to bed.

Indoor-Lights-and-Electrical-Decorations-Safety-Tips-EA7A

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Pre-Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

Tree Outlet Overloaded
Planning is essential to reducing stress during this holiday season. ARC Electric Company can’t help you manage your budgets, guests, and traveling; we can help you plan for safe holiday decorations!
 
*If you haven’t already done so this month, test all smoke alarms. Replace the batteries, or alarm if it is not working properly.
 
*Inspect all electrical decorations and replace any that are cracked, frayed, or have other breaks in the insulation of any wires.
 
*Plan out the placement of your holiday lighting so that no more than three strands are strung together (unless using LEDs).
 
*Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).
 
*Be sure to check each product label or packaging to determine whether it is intended for indoors or outdoors and use accordingly.
 
*Arrange your decorations so that no outlet is overloaded and no cords will be pinched by furniture or positioned under rugs.
 
*Be sure all heating sources or open flames, such as a candle or fireplace, are given a three foot buffer from any decorations.

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Fall Electrical Safety Tips – Part 3 (GFCI)

 
Since the ’70s, ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) have saved thousands of lives and have helped cut the number of home electrocutions in half. GFCIs are an electrical outlet that trip electrical circuits when they detect ground faults or leakage currents. Without these a person can be severely shocked or electrocuted. These outlets prevent deadly shock by quickly shutting off power to the circuit. Typically you see them in bathrooms, kitchens, garages, and outside. A GFCI should be used in any indoor or outdoor area where water may come into contact with an electrical product.
 
How-to-Test-a-GFCI
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Fall Electrical Safety Tips – Part 2 (Heating Pads / Electrical Blanket)

 
ARC Electric Company will be posting electrical safety tips all throughout the holiday season to help keep our customers and their loved ones safe. Part 2 is touching on heating pads and electric blankets. I hate to admit I have one but I don’t use it often and try to follow all the tips to stay safe.
 
* Heating pads and electric blankets cause approximately 500 fires every year.
 
* A heating pad is placed directly on the mattress and an electric blanket is just a blanket that is heated. These are not meant to be used interchangeably or simultaneously.
 
Safety Tips:
** Look for dark, charred, or frayed spots or one where the electric cord is cracked or frayed. (below is pictures of a burnt blanket and heating pad)
** Replace any worn or old heating pad or electric blanket.
** Do not allow anything to sit on top of a heating pad or electric blanket when it is in use, as it may overheat.
** Never fold electric blankets when using, again it may overheat.
** Heating pads or electrical blankets should never be left unattended or while sleeping.


 
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