Nothing is more important than the safety of our members. Electricity has become such a necessary part of our lives that we tend to take it for granted, but using it safely is vitally important. Thousands of people in the United States are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires and accidents in their own homes each year.
Electrical injuries and deaths are not “freak accidents.” Most people think injuries happen by chance or “accident” - a word that implies something that can’t be foreseen or avoided. But electrical injuries typically can be both foreseen and avoided.
Three Steps to Electrical Safety
Spot the Hazards
If there’s an accident waiting to happen in your household, make sure you eliminate it before it has the chance to strike. Here’s a helpful strategy. Look at places where anyone in your household might come into contact with electricity. Is there a potential hazard? Ask yourself, “Is there a safer way to use this appliance?” Are you or others behaving in a way that could lead to someone being shocked or electrocuted?
Once you identify possible problems, make sure they don’t escalate into a hazard. Throw away frayed and damaged cords and extension cords. Never try to repair them. Extension cords are only to be used temporarily. Turn appliances off before unplugging them. And pull the plug, not the cord. Don’t touch appliances or switches with wet hands. Cover electrical outlets to stop children from poking things into them. Keep appliances out of the reach of children. Make sure outdoor appliances cannot come into contact with pools or puddles of water.
Don’t put it off. An electrical hazard can cause injury or claim a life in an instant. Eliminate the hazard the second you spot it.