electrician installing an outlet

7 helpful tips for Electrical Safety Month

May is Electrical Safety Month, but preventing hazards is something everyone should pay attention to every day. Not doing so can result in serious injuries, fires and even death.

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), there are about 51,000 electrical fires each year, which result in nearly 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries and $1.3 billion in property damage. Taking the necessary precautions and understanding the risks can significantly reduce those numbers.

Testing of a residential electrical panel
An experienced electrician should inspect a home’s electrical system every three to five years.

Regular inspections

Have an electrical contractor check your electrical system every three to five years to identify potential hazards before they become serious issues.

Trust the professionals

Electrical work is serious business. NECA-IBEW Electricians member electrical contractors emphasize safety in all that they do. They are each trained and equipped to handle any complex issues that may arise.

Consider an upgrade

Older homes may have electrical systems and components that are no longer safe and considered fire hazards. Consult with an experienced electrician regarding concerns.

Overloaded outlet
Overloaded outlets are risky and a fire hazard.

Install GFCIs and AFCIs

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters and Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters can prevent electrical shocks and fires. Ensure these are installed in appropriate areas, such as bathrooms, kitchens and bedrooms.

Avoid the overload

Don’t overload electrical outlets or circuits. Use power strips with built-in circuit breakers and avoid chaining multiple strips together.

Childproof outlets/secure cords

Use covers or tamper-resistant receptacles to prevent children from inserting objects into electrical outlets. Keep cords out of reach, use organizers and avoid running cords under rugs or carpets.

Education is best

Teach your family about the dangers of tampering with electrical outlets, devices and appliances with wet hands. Always supervise young children.

Educate children about the dangers of tampering with electrical outlets and using devices unsupervised.

Creating a safer environment is the focus of Electrical Safety Month. It’s a shared responsibility and taking the proper precautions today can help prevent accidents or tragedies tomorrow.

NECA-IBEW Electricians are comprised of IBEW Local 64 in Youngstown, IBEW Local 573 in Warren and signatory electrical contractors throughout the Mahoning Valley.