Learn Electrical Safety Today... Save a Life Tomorrow!
Today, many people are becoming DIYer's and more technologically capable in which many are having more energy and electrical needs to power their devices in addition to the electrical needs of the newest trend of indoor gardens or growing. So needless to say electrical safety is extremely important; however, many people do not realize the importance of electrical safety and the severity of the consequences of electrical malfunctions and improper usages. We at Shop Save N Earn believe that as a retailer of electronics and gardening supplies it is our duty to express the importance and educate people about electrical safety.
Keep your Family Safe with Electrical Safety and its Importance
To begin let's discuss the facts found through our research as we find the facts speak for itself and directly show the importance of electrical safety. For instance, "according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), there are 28,600 electrical fires per year " (Fire Recruit, 2011), which is ever-increasing due to the increase in technological device usage as well as it's availability. This seemingly small amount of occurrences, but when the costs and consequences of such occurrences add up quickly when considering the cost of life and home not to mention the mental toll it takes. In fact, "in 2011 these fires cause $1.1 billion in property damage and loss and are responsible for 310 deaths and 1,100 injuries each year." (Fire Recruit, 2011)
This is a staggering amount of money and a high rate of death as even one death is too many. This is not even considering the implication of the costs of injuries whether it is mental, physical, or financial, which is ever-increasing. This is directly shown in our U.S. statistics from the Fire Administration (USFA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency as "in 2013, there were 3,470 deaths and 15,925 injuries in the U.S. that were caused by fires." (FEMA, 2016)
- It is estimated that more than 30,000 non-fatal electrical shock accidents occur each year. (Safe Electricity, 2016)
- The National Safety Council estimates that between 600 and 1,000 people die each year from electrocution. (Safe Electricity, 2016)
To further this conclusion of electrical safety the Fire Administration (USFA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency also state that, "Electrical malfunction was the second leading reported cause of residential fire deaths in 2013."(FEMA, 2016) It is fair to conclude that electrical safely is important and the costs of not being safe is as great as ever before with the many electrical needs and devices.
Save your life and Learn electrical safety
So you decided to save your life by learning some electrical safety in which includes two of the most important parts extension cord safety and socket safety.
Are you are wondering why are these two specific things are so important?
I'll tell you, in my opinion; the most used electrical components are sockets in which sockets also include socket adapters, and extension cords. This is largely because all our devices whether it is to power a device or charge it has to use a socket of some type even automotive sockets when mobile, which we will discuss in another article.
"Just say no to Fire" Socket Safety
Socket safety is by far the most important aspect of electrical safety as we use them with virtually every device or appliance we have in our homes. Many people overload these sockets by plugging in too many things into a single socket as well as adapt two outlet sockets into four or six sockets. This all can lead to disaster as these situations lead to fire and usually at the most inconvenient moment usually when you are sleeping or maybe you are lucky and not at home, but inconvenient none the less.
So let's begin with some examples of socket damage in which below there is a real live example of the damage a loose connection to a socket or the overloading of a socket can do to the socket and we will let your imagination go from there.
The image above directly shows the effects of an unmaintained socket in which the connection wire arced due to looseness in which began to melt the socket itself. This will directly result in a fire as it will continue to melt and heat-up... Not to mention possible spark from the arcing of the wire. "The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 3,900 injuries associated with electrical receptacle outlets are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year, although a third of these injuries occur when young children inserting objects into the outlet." (Acme HowTo, 2016) Two, thirds of these results are due to overloading, improper maintenance of equipment amongst other possible causes, which can be broken down further but is not required as safety and saving lives is the goal of the article.
Extension cords are another important aspect of socket safety as this is exactly how a socket is overloaded and can cause the shorting out or arcing of the socket or the wires leading to it as shown in the example above and to the right. Extension cords are necessary at times, but should only be used for short periods as they were intended for such long uses, which always leads to issues with problems leading to fires. Below is a list of things not to do that will save you and your family's life.
Extension cord No no's that will save you!!!
The simplicity of ensuring your sockets are maintained, limiting sockets to a single device, and your extension cords are cared for and used appropriately can make all the difference. "Every year there is an estimated 5,300 electric receptacle (socket) fires in which claims 40 lives and injures hundreds of consumers."(Acme HowTo, 2016) The information provided so far directly supports the importance of socket and electrical safety.
Additionally, one can also watch for some signs of electrical issues in which if there is;
- Hot plugs or sockets
- Scorch marks on sockets
- Wires sticking out of plugs
- Exposed cables in plugs
- Fuses that blow repeatedly for no reason
- Worn or frayed electrical cords
But how do we stay safe and ensure the safety of our families? You ask?
How do we stay safe and ensure the safety of our families?
First step in staying safe from electrical fire is the maintaining of your residential sockets as well as replacing any damaged or outdated sockets as this will ensure you have the most current and safest sockets available. Second to ensure they use proper graded wiring and follow all device constraints and requirements. To be more detailed and accurate one can follow the list below from Safe Electricity as it is quite extensive and covers most all avoidance measures to keep you and your family safe.
Electrical Socket Tips to live by
- Electrical outlets— Check for loose–fitting plugs, which can be a shock or fire hazard.
- Replace missing or broken wall plates so wiring and components are not exposed.
- If you have young children in the home, check that unused outlets are covered.
- Plugs —Never force them into outlets.
- Don’t remove the grounding pin (third prong) to make a three-prong plug fit a two-conductor outlet.
- Avoid overloading outlets with adapters and too many appliance plugs.
- Make sure they are not frayed or cracked, placed under carpets or rugs, or placed in high traffic areas.
- Do not nail or staple them to walls, floors or other objects.
- Use them on a temporary basis only. They are not intended as permanent household wiring.
- Make sure they have safety closures to protect young children from shock and mouth burn injuries.
Source: http://www.safeelectricity.org/information-center/library-of-articles/55-home- safety/294-avoid-electrical-fires-at-home
The best advice anyone can give as Safe Electricity so eloquently states, "that Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) must be installed everywhere possible and to test them monthly to ensure they’re working properly."(Safe Electricity, 2016) GFCI is exemplified below in which it provides a way to cut the sockets energy if there is a short or overload, which is recommended as it is significantly safer.
However, these sockets still need to be maintained, tested, and replaced accordingly, But if you are not qualified to do so please seek out professional help as this can be dangerous. The tightening of the socket as well as its connectors of a socket and ensuring there is never multiple devices on a single socket will keep you family safe. (AlarmRelay,2015)
Another good source of safety tips was Safe Wise in which they had a simple list of things to do to minimize electrical fires. While it does somewhat resemble the lists found else were on the internet there were significant differences and this directly provides credibility to the other lists as well as this one. Below I shortened the details to just highlight the list but if you would like to read more about there is a link in references to do so.
Safe Wise's 9 Simple ways to minimize risk of electrical fires
- Hire a licensed electrician to check your home’s wiring yearly.
- Don’t ignore warning signs.
- Use caution with extension cords.
- Don’t overload electrical sockets.
- Check the plugs and cords on electrical equipment.
- Keep electrical appliances away from flammable items.
- Use proper wattage bulbs.
- Ensure your home’s smoke detectors are operational.
- Equip your home with fire extinguishers.
Now, these tip are just a few things you can do to keep your family safe and it is quite worth the trouble as many people tend to overlook these things. In fact, recently there was a fire in Indiana in which a barn was burnt down due to a faulty heater. the loss was great as they lost their barn, equipment, and most of all four goats that were just purchased for their faming needs. This was a huge disaster for these people as in a single night everything was gone even their animals, which for a farmer is a big deal. This is because farmers select their farm animals just like someone would a pet from a pet store. The loss was significant and their lively hood now is in question. So always remember electrical safety is an essential and important factor in keeping your family safe.
In conclusion, one can take much away from this article as it highlights the importance of electrical safety as well as ways to avoid electrical fires due to overloading of sockets, improperly maintaining sockets, and adapting sockets to fit other connectors and using adapters in general. The list of extension cord no-no's is also a great list that allows you to see what not to do to keep your family safe and that is the most important thing of all. The tips within this article is vast and detailed in which can help save the lives of your family, possessions, mementos, and family heirlooms but most importantly you and your families lives.
USFA & FEMA (2016), Fire Administration (USFA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency, Retrieved on February 24, 2016 from: www.USFA.FEMA.gov
U.N. (2011), Fire Recruit, Retrieved on February 24, 2016 from: https://www.firerecruit.com/articles/1206100-5-common-causes-of-electrical-fires
Safe Electricity (2016), Safe Electricity, retrieved from: http://www.safeelectricity.org/information-center/library-of-articles/55-home-safety/294-avoid-electrical-fires-at-home on February 24, 2016
Acme HowTo, (2016), Acme HowTo, retrieved on February 24, 2016 from: http://www.acmehowto.com/electrical/outlet-safety.php
Chianis, (2015), 9 Simple Ways to Minimize Your Home’s Risk of an Electrical Fire, Safety Wise, retrieved from: http://www.safewise.com/blog/9-simple-ways-to-minimize-your-homes-risk-of-an-electrical-fire/ on February 27, 2016
U.N, (2015), 10 Easy Ways to Prevent Electrical Fires in Your Home, retrieved from: http://alarmrelay.com/10-easy-ways-to-prevent-electrical-fires-in-your-home/ on February 27, 2016