Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Spring Safety Tips


The most recent data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that on average, there are over 400 electrocutions in the United States each year. Of these, ladders contacting power lines caused nine percent of electrocutions; in another five percent of  deaths, victims contacted high voltage power lines.

Don’t become a statistic--use these safety tips when working with or around electricity outdoors.  And be sure to call the new national call-before-you-dig number - 811 - before you plant or install outdoor equipment.

Warmer weather brings an increase in outdoor work in many
parts of the country, both on the job and at home.

Increasing electrical safety awareness can help ensure those
activities do not result in injuries and deaths, according to the
Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI). ESFI notes
that following safety rules can reduce electrical deaths and

  • Ladders—even those made of wood—that contact a power line can prove fatal.

  • Unplug outdoor tools and appliances when not in use.

  • Inspect power tools and appliances for frayed cords, broken plugs and cracked or broken housing and repair or replace damaged items.

  • Water does not mix with electricity. Avoid damp conditions — including wet grass — when using electricity.

  • Wherever possible, use a portable ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) or purchase tools with built-in GFCI technology. 


The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) reminds
consumers that taking steps to eliminate the top electrical
safety threats around the home and workplace can prevent
thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths that needlessly
occur each year.

According to data, top electrical safety hazards include:

·       Electrical fires caused by aging wiring;
·       Misuse of surge suppressors and extension cords; and
Electrocutions from power lines, wiring systems and large appliances.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC ) research indicates that each year we can expect more than 140,000 electrical fires, which result in hundreds of injuries and deaths. Electrocutions associated with wiring and consumer products cost hundreds of lives annually. In the workplace, over 300 workplace fatalities and approximately 4,000 injuries occur each year due to electrical hazards, according to a study published by the National Safety Council. ESFI has issued electrical safety tips to help avoid tragic and costly injuries:

  • Replace damaged electrical equipment or have it repaired at an authorized repair center.

  • Use appliances and equipment according to the manufacturer's instructions .

  • Make sure power strips, cords and surge suppressors are designed to handle the loads for their intended use. Avoid overloading circuits by plugging too many items into the same outlet.

  • Use ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection when working where water is near electricity to protect against electric shock.

  • Make certain that all products and equipment are approved by an independent testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), or ETL-SEMKO (ETL).

  • Add protection by installing a new electrical safety device—an arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI)—to detect and stop electrical arcs that can cause fires. Arcs are not detected by most breakers and fuses.

Installing a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) in every
home and workplace could prevent nearly 70 percent of the
approximately 400 electrocutions that occur each year. GFCIs
are especially useful for cord-connected appliances and
equipment used outdoors or near water.

·       GFCIs are electrical safety devices that trip electrical circuits when they detect ground faults or leakage currents. A GFCI can be an electrical receptacle, circuit breaker, or portable device. A person who becomes part of a path for leakage current will be severely shocked or electrocuted.

·       An Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) survey found that nearly one-half of U.S. families never test the GFCIs in their homes. More that 25 percent do not know that GFCIs can help prevent electrocution. Even among those who routinely tested their GFCIs, none said that they tested their units as recommended — at least once a month and after storms. 

  • GFCIs are subject to wear and possible damage from power surges during an electrical storm. Industry studies suggest that as many as 10 percent of GFCIs in use may be damaged. ESFI   recommends performing a simple monthly test to determine if GFCIs are functioning properly.

  • Among the estimated millions of GFCIs installed nationwide, many are the standard wall or receptacle-type GFCIs. To test your GFCIs, follow this simple procedure:

  •  Push the "Reset" button of the GFCI receptacle to prepare the unit for testing.
  • Plug a light into the GFCI and turn it on. The light should now be ON.

  • Push the "Test" button of the GFCI. The light should go OFF.

  • Push the "Reset" button again. The light should again turn ON.

  • The light should go out when the test button is pushed. If the light does not go out, then the GFCI is not working or has been installed incorrectly. 
  • If the "Reset" button pops out during the test but the light does not go out, the GFCI may have been improperly wired. In this case, the GFCI may have been damaged and does not offer shock protection. Contact Sylvia Electrical Contracting to check the GFCI and correct the problem.

CALL 811
is the new national number you should
call before you begin any digging project.
For more information, go to

Article from:  electrical-safety.org


  1. Thank you for sharing. You listed some really great and very important info. I just hired the best electrician in Littleton, MA. I will tell him to check out your blog.

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  3. Thanks for all the great tips! I keep telling my husband we just need to hire electrical contractors and he just keep insisting he can do things himself. I know he's going to get hurt one of these days. I need him to take a look at this list before doing anything.

  4. I am very happy to be here because this is a very good site that provides lots of information about the topics covered in depth. Im glad to see that people are actually writing about this issue in such a smart way, showing us all different sides to it. Please keep it up. I cant wait to read whats next.
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