NFPA PubEd specialist discusses electrical safety in radio interview

Blog Post created by ryansweezey on Sep 2, 2015

NFPA public education Meredith Hawes spoke about electrical safety as part of her monthly guest spot on WTCM NewsTalk 580’s Safety Dance program. Hawes sat down with Christal Frost, host of the Traverse City, Mich. radio program, on July 24.

According to Hawes, electrical fires account for 70,000 American fires each year, resulting in 485 deaths and $868 million in property loss on average. Outler pic

Aging homes with aging wiring are particularly at risk. As insulation in electrical outlets erodes around wiring, a definite fire hazard is created. Additionally, arcing with connections that are not tight accounts for about half of the above statistics. In these instances, electrical current jumps gaps in a circuit, and causes power to come and go. If you see lights flickering or going on and off, this is an indicator of arcing, and a sign that you should call an electrician.

“What we’re really trying to drive home this morning is if you’ve got any of these issues, get an electrician in to take care of them,” said Hawes.

It is also important to keep these ideas in mind for newer homes, as they will be affected as time goes on. If concerns are raised, an inspection should be done by a professional.

“All homes will eventually be aging, so this is something you just need to be aware of,” she said.

CaptureAlso in the interview, Hawes covered several tips for guarding against electrical fires, including information on wattage of appliances, different types of outlets, where objects should and shouldn’t be plugged in and buying reliable products. She also stressed the importance of putting safety above cost concerns.

“Purchase what you can afford, the best you can afford, and when it comes to life safety of you and your family members, you really can’t put a cost on that.”

Listen to the full interview for more information on electrical safety in the home.