National Electric Safety Month

May 19, 2016

May is National Electrical Safety Month and REC is teaming up with the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) to raise awareness of potential home electrical hazards and the importance of electrical safety.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates 47,700 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments each year involve some type of electrical failure or malfunction as a factor contributing to ignition. In Virginia, there were 3,144 structure fires in 2015. These fires resulted in 20 civilian deaths, 134 civilian injuries and $78.5 million in property damage. Awareness and education are critical to reduce the incidence of electrical fires, and ESFI sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May to educate the public.

“Extension cord misuse and overburdened electrical systems are two of the main causes of home electrical fires,” said ESFI President Brett Brenner. “It is important to be aware of these common and preventable hazards, as well as other safety measures you can take to ensure that your home is electrically safe.”

Tips for keeping your home safe.

•Don't use frayed or damaged extension cords. Damage to the cord can expose wires and cause fire and shock hazards.

•Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the light fixture.

•Don't run cords under carpeting. Cords can overheat if air cannot flow around them.

ESFI encourages the sharing of its campaign resources and developed The National Electrical Safety Month 2016 Electrical Safety Advocate Guide to provide the resources necessary to raise awareness of safe practices. Whether you want to educate a loved one or raise awareness in your community, school or workplace, this guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to be an Electrical Safety Advocate and help champion the cause of minimizing electrical-related deaths and injuries. Find The National Electrical Safety Month 2016 Electrical Safety Advocate Guide at www.myrec.coop/homesafety.

Electrical safety awareness and education among consumers, families, employees and communities will prevent electrical fires, injuries and fatalities.

REC provides electric service to over 161,000 connections in parts of 22 Virginia counties. With its general office in Fredericksburg, Va., the Cooperative operates and maintains more than 16,000 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Follow REC on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.