We all know the sound–the dreaded chirping of batteries dying in the smoke detector. “Tomorrow,” we say to ourselves, disabling the device or muffling the sound through music or fans.
“Tomorrow” is often too late. Every year, home electrical fires account for about 51,000 total fires and more than 500 deaths across the country, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International. Sixty-five percent of these deaths result from fires in homes with no working smoke detectors.
May is National Electrical Safety Month and we want to remind our customers, both commercial and residential, that safety can’t wait. Share these tips with friends and family to avoid electrical hazards and stay safe.
- Don’t overload outlets. Plugging too many devices could cause the power strip or wall socket could cause it to overheat and start a fire.
- Make sure at least one smoke detector is placed on every floor of the home. Locate detectors on the ceiling away from air vents and near bedrooms. Test smoke detector every few months to ensure they’re working and change the batteries every spring and fall when the clocks change.
- In kitchens, bathrooms, and near swimming pools, standard outlets should be replaced with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI’s). GFCI’s are devices that will provide shock protection by quickly cutting off the circuit and preventing injury. GFCI’s should be UL approved and installed by a licensed electrician.
- Never pour water on an electric fire, as water acts as a conductor and can cause shock. A fire extinguisher that is rated as Class C should be used for electric fires.
- Never touch a downed wire or go near one. Always assume the power line is live and call PSEG Long Island at 800-490-0075 to report downed wires.
- Do not handle electric appliances with wet or damp hands, and never use electric appliances in wet or damp conditions, unless the appliances are specifically rated for that use.