National Electrical Safety Month works to keep people safe from electrical hazards, including those associated with “smart” technologies
As challenging as the pandemic has been – and as much as most of us have grumbled at one point or another about the limitations it’s placed on our lives –imagine enduring a crisis in which we lost electrical power. Forget not having anything new to watch on Netflix – we wouldn’t have access to our televisions, or any of our electrical devices, from our computers to smartphones. Nor would there be electricity to keep our food refrigerated, cook our meals, take a hot shower, turn on lights, use the dishwasher, washing machine or dryer - and the list goes on.
With National Electrical Safety Month kicking off this May, it’s worth taking a moment to be grateful for all the ways electricity keeps our daily lives buzzing and humming as we expect and assume it will. And because we rely on electricity every day, most often without incident, we tend to forget that electricity does pose real risks. In fact, people are killed or injured by electrical hazards each year, but many people aren’t aware of these dangers.
Sponsored by Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), National Electrical Safety Month works to raises awareness around potential home electrical hazards and the importance of electrical fire safety. This May’s theme, “Connected to Safety,” focuses on emerging technologies that make our homes safe and efficient and ways to use them safely - from understanding how to charge electrical vehicles at home and use household electrical safety devices to working safely with or around solar panels and temporary power.
During National Electrical Safety Month, households are encouraged to take these simple steps to reduce risk:
- Learn the importance of using surge protective devices to protect against damaging power surges that can destroy electrical equipment in the home
- Use grounded outlets that guard against electric shock
- Use a smart plug or power strip to turn off power when devices are not in use
In addition, residents should have all electrical work done by a qualified electrician, including scheduling electrical inspections when buying or remodeling a home. Even during this time of social distancing,
ESFI has offers great resources on its landing page, while the NFPA electrical safety webpage provides tips and information as well, including infographics, fact sheets, videos, and podcasts related to electrical fire safety. In the weeks ahead, please use and share information about National Electrical Safety Month and its electrical safety messages when and where possible.