As NFPA works alongside the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) to increase electrical safety awareness throughout May—National Electrical Safety Month—we take a look at safety during hurricanes. ESFI’s Hurricane Electrical Safety Infographic and NFPA’stip sheet on hurricane safety provide precautions before, during, and after the storm. The Atlantic hurricane season is June to November, with the peak season from mid-August to late October. On average there are 6 hurricanes, three which are categorized as “major,” each year. History provides important examples of the potentially dangerous impact hurricanes can have and the need to be prepared.
Prepare for the storm:
•Charge all phone and communications devices
•Unplug all electronics and move them as high as possible
•If recommended by utilities or emergency offices, turn off breakers to avoid power surges
Weather the storm:
•Stay indoors during hurricanes and away from windows and glass
•Never operate a portable generator inside your home
•Never connect a generator directly into your homes wiring unless a transfer switch has been installed
•Always use GFCIs in areas where water and electricity may come in contact
Recover from the storm:
•Do not use electrical equipment and electronics, including receptacles, that have been submerged in water
•Have a qualified electrician inspect any water damaged electrical equipment and electronics
•Stay away from downed power lines. If you encounter a downed power line, stay at least 35 feet away and do not touch the line or anything that may be in contact with the line
National Electrical Safety Month was introduced by ESFI in the mid-1990s to bring awareness to home electrical safety. The campaign highlights safety activities throughout the month that can be used by safety advocates, educators and consumers.