Source: Utica National Insurance email
Electricity plays a major role in our lives, powering our workplaces and our homes. Engineers, electricians, and other professionals work directly with it – on overhead lines, cable harnesses, and circuit assemblies. Others, such as office workers and sales people, work with it indirectly, but still may be exposed to electrical hazards … that can result in injury, death and significant property loss.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that in 2019 there were 166 fatal electrical injuries and 1900 non-fatal electrical injuries involving days away from work.
In addition, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reported 103,600 fires for non-residential buildings in 2018.
- 8,100 (7.8%) of these fires were electrical
- Losses for these 8,100 fires alone totaled $373,400,000
May is National Electrical Safety Month. Review your electrical preventative maintenance and electrical safety programs, and follow these electrical safety tips which could help you avoid fires and injury:
- Have electrical work completed by a qualified electrician in accordance with applicable building and safety codes.
- Use GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters) to reduce shock. GFCIs are designed to protect people from hazardous ground faults that can arise from plugging in defective appliances or corded equipment.
- Test AFCIs (arc fault circuit interrupters). AFCIs are required by the National Electrical Code (NEC) to be installed within all dwelling units.
- Inspect extension cords to ensure they are in good condition and NOT running under carpets or in doorways.
- Install additional outlets to reduce the use of extension cords.
- Use power tools listed by a qualified testing laboratory. Inspect them before use and store all electrical tools indoors.
- Ensure your lockout/tagout and arc flash safety procedures are followed when maintaining and servicing electrical equipment.
- Train your employees on electrical safety.
- Use extreme caution when electrical equipment is being used near flammable liquids.
- Trim all tree branches away from power lines or contact your power company to request this service.
- Call 811 or visit https://newyork-811.com/ before you dig to identify the location of underground utilities.
Call a qualified electrician if you notice:
- Frequent problems with circuits tripping, warm outlets, flickering or dimming lights, sparks from an outlet, or a burning or rubber smell from an appliance.
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