Author: Rob Hupperich | Field Marketing Specialist | East Dubuque, IL
May is Electrical Safety Month.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
This quote comes to us from the same man that reportedly experimented with electricity by flying a kite, with a key attached to the string, in a thunderstorm. Although Benjamin Franklin is known for this hair-raising electrical experiment, it is the quote regarding preventative measures that we would like to focus on this month. That is right, May is Electrical Safety Month and prevention is the key! The best way to prevent electrical accidents is to raise awareness of the fact that, although it is essential for our current standard of living, electricity can be dangerous.
Everywhere that electricity is present, there is the potential for injury. Most of us have developed a healthy respect for the energy produced from charged particles. This is because our awareness has been raised through some experience with electricity, either through receiving a shock ourselves or through some level of education. It is this level of awareness that allows us to live and work around it without incident. However, accidents involving injury due to electrical shock and burns still occur at work and in the home.
Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi) reminds us that “just as regular wellness checkups are critical for maintaining your health, routine safety checkups are critical for the safety of your home.” Use ESFi’s handy Electrical Safety Checkup List to ensure that you can identify and correct potential electrical hazards around your home before an electrical fire or incident can result. Electrical safety is equally important in the work place.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) put together a list to help raise awareness of electrical hazards in and around the jobsite:
- Assume that all overhead wires are energized at lethal voltages. Never assume that a wire is safe to touch even if it is down or appears to be insulated.
- Never touch a fallen overhead power line. Call the electric utility company to report fallen electrical lines.
- Stay at least 10 feet (3 meters) away from overhead wires during cleanup and other activities. If working at heights or handling long objects, survey the area before starting work for the presence of overhead wires.
- If an overhead wire falls across your vehicle while you are driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the line. If the engine stalls, do not leave your vehicle. Warn people not to touch the vehicle or the wire. Call or ask someone to call the local electric utility company and emergency services.
- Never operate electrical equipment while you are standing in water.
- Never repair electrical cords or equipment unless qualified and authorized.
- Have a qualified electrician inspect electrical equipment that has gotten wet before energizing it.
- If working in damp locations, inspect electric cords and equipment to ensure that they are in good condition and free of defects, and use a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
- Have a qualified electrician install Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI) to help prevent electrical fires.
- Shut off live circuits when performing work and confirm it's off with a non-contact voltage detector.
- Always use caution when working near electricity.
In order to avoid potentially dangerous situations, we must first be aware of them. We hope that this article has helped to raise your awareness of electrical safety hazards. Take our old friend Ben’s advice and opt for the ounce of prevention every time.
From all of your friends at Crescent Electric Supply Company, Happy Electrical Safety Month!
Ensure you are protected with electrical safety products from Crescent Electric. From Insulated Tools, to Electrical Testing Equipment, to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Crescent Electric has what you need.
Contact your local Crescent Electric branch today for more information.
DISCOVER ELECTRICAL SAFETY PRODUCTS AT CESCO.COM.
Click here to subscribe to future articles and stay up to date with Crescent Electric.