The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors recently released the fifth video of their Faces of Fire/Electrical campaign. The campaign features stories of electrical burn survivors whose lives have been forever altered and how more training, understanding, and a change in work culture could have significantly impacted these outcomes.
Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was the leading cause of home fire property damage, according to the latest NFPA research. An average of 33,900 such fires caused 470 deaths, 1,100 injuries and $1.4 billion in direct property damage annually from 2014 – 2018. Electrical failures or malfunctions were a factor in nearly nine out of 10 home fires involving wire and related equipment each year between 2012 – 2016.
While new home construction is built to meet the demand of today’s households, there are more than 47.5 million homes in the U.S. that are at least 50 years old and built before many modern-day electronics and appliances were invented.
The third video in the campaign series featured an electrical burn survivor who was shocked when a metal boat rudder contacted an overhead power line. She fell against the metal rudder as the electrical current passed through it, suffering extensive burn injuries to her neck and hands. Powerlines remain a leading cause of electrical fatalities. Between 2011 – 2018, 38 percent of all electrically related workplace fatalities were caused by overhead powerlines.