May is National Electrical Safety Month and the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is launching its annual effort to help reduce electrically-related fires, fatalities, injuries, and property loss. This year’s campaign features the third edition of its National Electrical Safety Month publication, Electrical Safety Illustrated. The issue, titled “At Home and at Work: Make Electrical Safety Everyone’s Responsibility,” addresses common electrical hazards both at home and on the job.
“Electricity is unforgiving, and it is important to be aware of hazards in order to correct them before a serious situation can result,” said ESFI President Brett Brenner. “This year’s resources highlight important home electrical safety measures as well as procedures that safeguard employees who work with electricity.”
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates 47,700 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments each year involve some type of electrical failure or malfunction as a factor contributing to ignition. These fires result in 418 civilian deaths, 1,570 civilian injuries, and $1.4 billion in property damage. In the workplace, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates there are approximately 187 electrical-related fatalities a year. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), each workplace death costs the U.S. economy $5 million.
Featured content in Electrical Safety Illustrated includes an infographic titled, “Don’t Overload Your Home,” which illustrates the warning signs that indicate that a home’s electrical system could be overburdened; “Reaching to Safety;” an infographic about avoiding hazards associated with the misuse of extension cords; and an infographic spotlighting arc-fault circuit interrupters, which are devices that help prevent home electrical fires before they can start.
Additional resources highlight common workplace electrical hazards and the importance of following safety procedures such as Lockout/Tag Out and "Test Before You Touch." Failure to comply with these procedures causes thousands of deaths among electrical workers each year. To further reinforce these important practices, ESFI has teamed with UL to offer a suite of online courses developed by electrical safety experts that help employees stay safe and injury free. The courses can be viewed at esfi.puresafety.com.
Electrical safety awareness and education among consumers, families, employees, and communities will prevent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities. For ESFI’s complete collection of National Electrical Safety Month resources and for information on using them in your community, visit www.esfi.org.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May to increase public awareness of the electrical hazards around us at home, work, school, and play. ESFI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety. For more information about ESFI and electrical safety, visit www.esfi.org.