May is National Electrical Safety Month

National Electrical Safety Month is a great time to take a close look at your home’s potential for electrical fires. Home electrical fires are deadly business – more than 51,000 fires occur each year due to faulty electrical systems with almost 500 deaths and more than 1,400 injuries occurring each year, according to the Electrical Safety Foundational International (ESFI).

We take electrical safety very seriously at Froula Alarm. As a licensed Washington State Electrical Contractor (#FROULAS122DS), we offer low voltage services, primarily related to home alarm systems, network surveillance and entertainment system setup. We adhere to the National Electrical Code, the standard for safe electrical installation and inspections.

It doesn’t take long to do a review of your home during National Electrical Safety Month. Just follow these guidelines to keep your family out of harm’s way when it comes to electricity.

Extension Cords

Make sure the extension cord you’re using does not have a lower wattage than the appliance you’re plugging into it. Look for the amperage on the tag attached to the extension cord to determine if it’s safe to use or not. Inspect extension cords before using – never use cords with cracks, cuts or exposed wires, as these faulty cords could cause an electrical shock or burn. If an extension cord feels hot when in use, stop using it immediately.  If you’re putting together an entertainment system, give us a call – we can help keep your equipment safe by providing custom design, installation and integration into your current home network.

Get Water-related Equipment Inspected

Ask a qualified electrician to annually inspect water-related equipment such as hot tubs, spas and pools to avoid electric shock drowning.  Areas around this equipment will also be inspected, including pumps, vacuums, outlets and underwater lights. Electrocution occurs when faulty wiring allows an electric current into the water. This current then passes through the body of anyone in the water, causing paralysis. This paralysis could lead to drowning. Install ground-fault circuit interrupters, also known as GFCIs, in electrical receptacles within 20 feet of all water. GFCI’s are circuit breakers designed to work within less than a second to shut off the power if the current comes into contact with water.

Install an Insulated Device

Install an insulated device, such as a fiberglass rescue crook, next to your pool, hot tub or spa. An insulated device is the only tool you should use to help remove someone from the water who has just been electrocuted. Teach your children that they should NEVER enter the water to try and help someone. Know where the power source is that’s related to the pool or other water equipment, so you know how to turn it off. Always call 9-1-1 to get help.

Use Surge Protectors

Sometimes unexpected power surges can damage electronic equipment such as televisions, computers and mobile devices on chargers. Keep your electronics safe by plugging in all equipment into surge protectors power strips. That way, if an electrical current surge occurs, the surge protector takes the brunt of the charge and not your sensitive devices.  Before you plug things into a surge protector, make sure the wattage of the strip is enough to handle the appliances.

Install Tamper Proof Electrical Receptacles

Teach your kids to keep their fingers out of electrical sockets. Take it one step further and keep your kids from suffering electrical shocks and burns by installing tamper-proof electrical receptacles.

Teach Your Kids

Explaining the importance of being safe around electricity is key to keeping your family out of harm’s way. Kids can learn about electrical safety via several entertaining videos created by ESFI. These fun videos feature a character named P.I. Plug and encourage kids to look around their homes to watch for danger related to electricity. They can also play interactive games to teach them safety measures.  Click here to go to the ESFI’s Kids’ Corner.