Arlington, VA—May is National Electrical Safety Month and the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is preparing for the launch of its annual campaign to increase public awareness of electrical hazards and the importance of electrical safety.
“Modern homes run on electricity, but if you don’t properly maintain your electrical products, they can create hazards,” warned ESFI president Brett Brenner. “The good news is that eliminating electrical hazards from your home doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.”
In the U.S., home electrical problems annually cause more than 51,000 fires, resulting in more than 490 deaths, 1,400 injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission show that nearly 400 people are electrocuted in the United States each year.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International sponsors National Electrical Safety Month (NESM) each May to increase public awareness of the electrical hazards around us at home, work, school, and play. This year’s campaign challenges people across the country to evaluate the electrical safety of their homes, learning more about their electrical systems and devices in the process.
This year, ESFI is focusing on the electrical safety of a different area of the home each week during May:
Cooking Up Safety in the Kitchen (May 2–6): The kitchen is where families gather to cook favorite recipes, share warm meals, and reconnect with each other, but it’s also the location where two-thirds of all home fires start. Identify and eliminate potential hazards in your kitchen before someone gets hurt.
Plug into Safety in the Family Room (May 9–13): The family room is an area of the home where many people go to unwind, but there are often many electrical appliances and devices in use in this area. Learn to recognize electrical hazards that can exist in common areas of your home.
Wake Up to Safety in the Bedroom (May 16–20): The average adult sleeps almost 8 hours per night, spending at least one-third of every day in their bedroom. Take steps to make sure your bedroom is safe—you’ll sleep better!
Build a Foundation of Safety in the Basement (May 23–27): Heating equipment and electrical distribution systems are two of the leading causes of home fires. Help keep your home safe by learning the basics of how these systems work and making sure they are properly maintained.
New resources featured in ESFI’s 2011 National Electrical Safety Month Toolkit, such as the Home Electrical Safety Challenge, have been designed to teach people of all ages to identify and correct potential electrical hazards before a more serious situation can result. This complimentary 2011 NESM Toolkit can be downloaded on the Foundation’s website at www.electrical-safety.org.
To coincide with National Electrical Safety Month this May, ESFI has completed renovations on its Virtual Home online tool. This dynamic, interactive resource guides users as they navigate a virtual home room by room, building understanding about potential home electrical dangers and electrical safety.
“A healthy respect for electricity and a basic knowledge of electrical safety practices can help keep your family and home safe from electrical hazards all year long,” noted Brenner.
Visit ESFI’s Virtual Home at http://virtualhome.esfi.org/ to learn more.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is a 501(c) (3) organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety. ESFI proudly sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May, and engages in public education campaigns throughout the year to prevent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities. To learn more about ESFI and National Electrical Safety Month, visit www.electrical-safety.org.
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