As Electrical Safety Foundation International's (ESFI) National Electrical Safety Month kicks off this first week of May, NFPA is pleased to introduce Brett Brenner, the president of ESFI, as our guest blogger this month. NFPA is an active supporter of ESFI's campaign. Below is Mr. Brenner's post:
Advances in technology typically signify positive growth and efficiency. With these changes, we must also avidly incorporate changes in our safety regulations.
May is National Electrical Safety Month, and the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) continues its annual campaign to inform the public on how to reduce electrical fires and other hazards at home and in the workplace. With this year’s campaign highlighting the importance of adopting the new 2017 National Electrical Code (NEC).
Has your state adopted the new code? ESFI’s "Decoding the NEC to Prevent Shock and Electrocution” edition of Electrical Safety Illustrated provides consumers with a number of industry standard safety upgrades and guidelines to remain on par with the national code, even if your state regulations are several years behind.
In 2015, 134 electrical fatalities occurred, with 60% of those occurring in the Construction industry. ESFI’s Workplace Fatalities and Injuries shows that electrical fatalities have decreased each year since 2003. At work or at home, OSHA and NEC requirements exist to continue reducing the number of these incidents.
Outside, docks and boats can carry sources of electricity as well. A lesser-known hazard, “Electric Shock Drowning” unveils the invisible danger of electrified water in or near marinas. The 2017 National Electrical Code now requires marinas and boatyards to have ground-fault protection to help prevent water electrification.
The NEC has required AFCI protected outlets since 2014. ESFI’s infographic “Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs): Prevent Electrical Fires” explains the importance of these life-saving devices. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that more than 50% of electrical fires that occur every year can be prevented by AFCIs.
This year during National Electrical Safety Month, take the time to inspect your home and work environment for any potential hazards or areas lacking protection. Contact a qualified electrician to ensure your home or workplace is safe and up to code. ESFI’s National Electrical Safety Month resources can help keep yourself, your family, and your coworkers safe. Visit www.esfi.org to learn more.