Why is it important to know about electrical safety?
Because using electricity properly can help us avoid:
- Injury – due to the careless use of electric-powered appliances or tools.
- Shock – caused by contact with electric current passing through wires, appliances or tools.
- Fire – resulting from over-heated wires, appliances or electric fixtures.
Electricity always follows the easiest path to the ground. It seeks a conductor, such as metal, wet wood, water – or your body! Your body is 70% water. So if you touch an energized bare wire or faulty appliance while you are grounded, electricity will instantly pass through you to the ground, causing a harmful - or even fatal - shock.
Electricity is so easy to use that you probably take it for granted. But you might be surprised to learn that each year, electricity-related incidents in the home cause approximately:
- 300 electrocutions
- 12,000 shock and burn injuries
- 150,000 fires
Your attention to safety is the key to preventing such accidents.
- Inspect your home for electrical safety hazards
- Learn all you can about using electricity safely at home
- Know what to do in case of an emergency
Check your home’s wiring.
Signs of inadequate wiring:
- Lights dim or flicker
- Motors change speed when an appliance goes on
- Circuit breakers trip or fuses blow frequently
- Heat-producing appliances are slow to warm
- Picture on TV screen “shrinks”
- You don’t have enough outlets
- Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)