The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) has declared May as National Electrical Safety Month, a motion that has garnered support from both local organizations and larger-scale groups such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Together, these organizations work to raise awareness of potential electrical hazards and the importance of proper electrical safety habits.
A new NFPA report reveals that between 2010 and 2014, there were almost 45,210 electrical home fires each year, which accounted for $1.4 billion in property damage. Fire safety experts say that a combination of automatic sprinklers and early warning systems in buildings could help reduce injuries and property damage by at least 50%, but electrical safety also plays an important role.
Approximately 57% of the electrical fires detailed in the NFPA report were the result of unsafe practices with wiring, outlets, and even lamps.
“Computers, kitchen appliances, fans and other equipment that use electricity have the potential to be involved in an electrical fire,” Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy told The Donaldsonville Chief.
In order to prevent electrical fires, officials from organizations across the country are dedicating their efforts toward safe electrical practices this month. In addition, officials warn that parents might not be taking enough precautions to ensure their children are safe.
A Temple University study found that in observing children ages two to four, a full 100% were able to remove a plastic outlet cap within 10 seconds. Now, researchers are urging parents to install tamper-resistant devices to fully protect children from electrical outlet hazards.
And that goes for other types of outlets as well. RJ45 ethernet plugs are only good for approximately 1,000 to 2,000 insertions. After that they can become loose or fray, making them a big hazard for children and pets.
The NFPA says that in order to prevent these situations, homeowners should have a licensed electrician perform all electrical work on their home, including inspections and new installations.
May isn’t over yet, which means the NFPA and other local organizations will be publishing more data and even organizing events to further raise awareness about safe electrical habits.