May 1, 2012, Arlington, VA — May is National Electrical Safety Month and the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is raising awareness about potential home electrical hazards and the importance of electrical safety. This year’s campaign, titled “Be in the Know about the New,” educates consumers about emerging electrical technologies and how they relate to existing home electrical systems.
“ESFI eagerly anticipates National Electrical Safety Month every year as a platform to disseminate critical electrical safety information to consumers,” said ESFI President Brett Brenner. “We set out to establish a theme for this year’s campaign that would be both informative and useful to consumers, and we also expanded upon our annual approach by determining new ways to reinvigorate our campaign and reach new audiences.”
The emerging technologies taking center stage during National Electrical Safety Month are electric vehicles, solar power, wind power and smart meters. Central to this year’s campaign is the National Electrical Safety Month (NESM) Toolkit, which provides consumers with an introduction to the technologies, as well as the safety considerations for incorporating them into existing home electrical systems. Also featured in the toolkit are materials that promote home safety technologies that can easily be retrofitted into any existing home electrical system to improve safety, including arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs), ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) and tamper resistant receptacles (TRRs).
To complement the information in the NESM toolkit, ESFI is employing a multimedia approach with the creation of two original videos. “Electric Vehicle Safety” reveals the information that consumers should consider before purchasing an electric vehicle, including important safety considerations. Also launching as part of National Electrical Safety Month is ESFI’s new virtual demonstration, “Your Electrical System,” which provides an introduction to the basic home electrical system and gives tips to help identify potential electrical hazards.
ESFI is also introducing new elements for the 2012 National Electrical Safety Month Campaign. The first ever National Electrical Safety Month Poster Contest fosters the creativity of young electrical safety advocates while providing a fun way to teach children about electrical safety. The contest includes two categories of posters based on the age of the artist. Preschool students and children in kindergarten through second grade are invited to submit Private I Plug coloring pages, while original safety illustrations based on ESFI’s National Electrical Safety Month Lessons and Activities will be accepted from students in third through fifth grade. Detailed submission guidelines and instructions can be found on ESFI’s website.
Another new component to this year’s campaign is further promotion through ESFI’s social media channels. ESFI’s Facebook followers can test their National Electrical Safety Month “IQ” with ESFI’s custom NESM quiz and then easily share their score with their networks. ESFI’s Twitter followers are encouraged to employ the hash tag “#NESM” to participate in electrical safety dialogue and share their electrical safety tips, which ESFI will share via Twitter every Thursday during National Electrical Safety Month.
Along with home electrical safety, ESFI is also addressing electrical safety in the workplace this National Electrical Safety Month with How Do You Know?, a new workplace electrical safety awareness program developed to help employers determine if their workforce is properly protected from electrical hazards. Available at no cost on ESFI’s website, The How Do You Know? program elements include the How Do You Know? Video Series and the Electrical Safety Self-Assessment. ESFI’s How Do You Know? program encourages all employees to take a proactive approach to electrical safety and provides them with tools to improve upon the safety of their workplaces.