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.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, 47,700 home fires in the U.S. are caused by electrical failures or malfunctions each year. These fires result in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries, and $1.4 billion in property damage. Overloaded electrical circuits are a major cause of residential fires. Help lower your risk of electrical fires by not overloading your electrical system.
Overloaded circuit warning signs: Flickering, blinking, or dimming lights; Frequently tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses; Warm or discolored wall plates; Cracking, sizzling, or buzzing from receptacles; Burning order coming from receptacles or wall switches; Mild shock or tingle from appliances, receptacles, or switches.
How to prevent electrical overloads: Never use extension cords or multi-outlet converters for appliances; All major appliances should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet. Only plug one heat producing appliance into a receptacle outlet at a time; A heavy reliance on extension cords is an indication that you have too few outlets to address your needs. Have a qualified electrician inspect your home and add new outlets; Power strips only add additional outlets; they do not change the amount of power being received from the outlet; The CPSC estimates more than 50% of electrical fires that occur every year can be prevented by Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs). Only use the appropriate watt bulb for any lighting fixture, Using a larger watt light bulb may cause a fire.
Roughly 3,300 home fires originate in extension cords each year, killing 50 people and injuring 270 more. Extension cords can overhead and cause fires when used improperly, so keep these important tips in mind to protect your home and workplace.
Don’t attempt to plug extension cords into one another; Make sure extension cords are properly rated for their intended use, indoor or outdoor, and meet or exceed the power needs of the device being used; Keep all outdoor extension cords clear of snow and standing water; Do NOT overload extension cords; A heavy reliance on extension cords is an indication that you have too few outlets to address your needs. Have additional outlets installed where you need them; Inspect cords for damage before use. Check for cracked or frayed sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections; Do NOT nail or staple extension cords to walls or baseboards; Do NOT run extension cords through walls, doorways, ceilings, or floors. If a cord is covered, heat cannot escape, which may result in a fire hazard; Never use three-prong plugs with outlets that only have two slots. Never cut off the ground pin to force a fit, which could lead to electric shock; Buy only cords that have been approved by an independent testing laboratory; Do NOT substitute extension cords for permanent wiring; Do NOT use an extension cord or power strip with heaters or fans, which could cause cords to overhead and result in a fire
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is a non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety in the home, school, and workplace. To commemorate National Electrical Safety Month, ESFI spearheads an annual campaign to educate key audiences about the steps that can be taken in order to reduce the number of electrically-related fires, fatalities, injuries, and property loss. ESFI’s National Electrical Safety Month 2016 campaign features a comprehensive collection of new and updated resources to help facilitate an effective electrical safety awareness campaign for your community, organization, school, or family. Included is an extensive collection of useful fact sheets and related safety tips, plus templates and tools you can use to promote electrical safety and National Electrical Safety Month in your home, school, community, or workplace. We have even provided media outreach materials and social media content to further spread our life-saving campaign messages.
Raising awareness about electrical hazards is the key to reducing home electrical fires, injuries and death, which is why we developed ESFI’s 2016 National Electrical Safety Month Electrical Safety Advocate Guide. Together, we can reduce the number of electrically-related deaths and injuries – one home, one school, and one workplace at a time.
National Electrical Safety Month 2016 Campaign Overview
In celebration of Electrical Safety Month 2016, ESFI is excited to announce the launch of the third installment of its National Electrical Safety Month publication, Electrical Safety Illustrated. This year’s theme is “At Home and at Work: Make Electrical Safety Everyone’s Priority.” This magazine will inform readers about common electrical hazards present at home and in the workplace.
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**provided by ESFI.org