Did you know that May is National Electrical Safety Month? This event, started by the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), helps promote electrical safety in the home, school, and workplace.
From educating people about electrical building codes to teaching them how to childproof their homes, ESFI is working to make the world a safer place in regards to electricity.
Ways to Prevent Shock and Electrocution
One of the main goals of National Electrical Safety Month is to educate people about ways to avoid being injured or killed by electricity. One of the easiest ways to prevent electrical accidents in the home is making sure Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) are installed in potentially wet areas. This includes bathrooms, kitchen countertops, garages, outdoors, and laundry areas. When triggered by too much moisture, the GFCIs automatically turn off.
Keeping Your Electronics Safe
Electrical safety is about more than keeping people safe; it’s also about keeping your electronics from getting fried by an electrical surge or lightning strike. Electrical surges are unwanted increases in voltage that can happen when large appliances (think air conditioners) turn off or on.
Surge protectors can help protect expensive electronics from both lightning and surges but know that no surge protector in existence is heavy-duty enough to handle a direct lighting strike. If you know a storm is approaching, your best bet is to unplug appliances and electronics. Also make sure when you purchase a surge protector that you’re purchasing an actual surge protector and not a power strip, as they’re not the same thing.
Guide to Electrical Codes
Another focus of National Electrical Safety Month is making sure everyone understands the importance of abiding by electrical codes. The National Electrical Code was first published in 1897. Since then, it’s been adopted by all 50 states and provides standards for electrical installation and inspection in order to keep structures and their occupants safe.
While many people are aware that electrical codes exist, they may not understand that these codes are in place to prevent electrical hazards. This applies to new construction, but it also applies to remodeling and older homes that haven’t been updated. In fact, there have been 15 revisions in the electrical code since 1974, which is when the average older American home was built.
Childproofing Your Home
The ESFI also seeks to educate parents about the dangers posed by electrical outlets to small children. Many parents try to prevent babies and toddlers from inserting foreign objects into outlets by using plastic outlet covers. This doesn’t always work, however. In one study, researchers from Temple University found that 100% of children from ages two to four were able to quickly remove one type of plastic outlet cover.
When it comes to childproofing electrical outlets, your best bet is installing Tamper-Resistant Receptacles. These outlets contain built-in shutters that prevent any foreign objects from being inserted. They’re a permanent way to ensure that your outlets are safe for your kids, as well as any kids who may visit or reside in the home in the future.
Tamper-Resistant Receptacles can be installed in most areas of the home, from bedrooms and bathrooms to living areas, the kitchen, and laundry rooms. The only places where these types of receptacles won’t work is for outlets that are located more than five-and-a-half feet above the floor, outlets that are part of a lighting fixture, or outlets that are dedicated to large appliances such as refrigerators or freezers.
Home Security Systems and Electrical Safety
During National Electrical Safety Month, as experienced home security experts, we fully understand how a comprehensive home security system can give homeowners peace of mind when it comes to electrical fires and accidents. Should an electrical fire occur, monitored smoke detectors will notify you and rescue personnel right away in order to more effectively prevent injuries, death, and loss of property.
A security camera network is also key in preventing accidents. Today’s security cameras allow you to monitor them from your computer or smartphone via a security system app. Checking a camera installed in your home nursery, for instance, will quickly alert you if your child is playing with or near an electrical outlet. This enhanced ability to “be everywhere at once” can help you better protect your family.
National Electrical Safety Month is just as much about education as it is about preparation and prevention. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to keep your home and your family safe from preventable electrical accidents.
At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 30 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.