Electrical Safty Concerns in the home is not the only Electrical worry we face in the comming years. Electric Cars and accidents present a growing danger for emergency response personel. CLICK ON THE LINK TO READ ABOUT THE DANGER
Check it out
To get an idea of the hazards emergency responders face when handling hybrid and electric-vehicle incidents, the National Firefighter Near-Miss
Reporting System is a good place to start.
In one incident, emergency responders rushed to a collision involving a hybrid vehicle, which used a 500-volt battery pack to supplement an internal combustion engine. After tending to the passengers, who had only minor injuries, firefighters assessed the vehicle and assumed the ignition was off since the motor wasn't running. They were wrong.
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ESFI Celebrates National Electrical Safety Month in May
May is National Electrical Safety Month, and the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is launching an electrical safety awareness campaign to promote the importance of electrical safety and educate key audiences about the steps that can be taken to prevent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities in the home and the workplace. Find additional information at NFPA
IS YOUR HOME SAFE -- RECOMMENDATIONS FOR KEEPING IT SAFE
Is Your Home Safe?
Many homeowners don’t realize that behind the panel boxes and cover plates there could be electrical hazards that can result in fires or electric shock. Please check or have a licensed master electrician who has the necessary testing instruments verify the following:
Make sure all appliance cords are in good condition, not frayed or cracked, and the ground prongs are intact. Have a licensed electrician replace all damaged cords.
Caution: If an appliance blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker, or gives anyone a shock unplug it immediately and have it checked by a licensed electrician.
Circuit Breakers and Fuses
Have a licensed electrician verify that the circuit protection device (fuse or circuit breaker) for each circuit is properly sized in accordance with the National Electrical Code.
Caution: If a circuit breaker trips or a fuse blows, this indicates that there’s a failure in your electrical system. Resetting the circuit breaker to provide power without having it checked by a licensed electrician is not the best practice.
Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI)
The consumer product safety commission (CPSC) recommends that you add AFCI protection for all 15A and 20A, 125V circuits that aren’t GFCI protected, according to the requirements of the National Electrical Code.
Caution: Test AFCIs monthly and after every major lightning storm, http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/afcifac8.PDF
To prevent electric shock, verify that all outlet cover plates are in good condition so that no wiring or electrical terminals are exposed, including outdoor receptacle covers.
Caution: Immediately replace any missing, cracked, or broken cover plate.
If anyone EVER feels a “tingle” or shock when they touch metal parts, IMMEDIATELY contact a licensed electrician and have them locate and fix the hazardous condition.
Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)
Have a licensed electrician perform an EMF study with a Milligauss meter to locate and correct wiring errors; you’ll make your home safer from the possibility of a fire or electric shock as well as reduce any EMF health risks.
Extension cords are only to be used on a temporary basis; they are not to be used as permanent household wiring.
Grounding – Appliances
To prevent electric shock, have a licensed electrician verify that all appliances are properly grounded.
Grounding – Electric Service
To prevent fires and damage to electrical equipment have a licensed electrician measure your house ground with a ground resistance meter to ensure that it has a value of 25 ohms or less.
Grounding – Receptacles
To prevent electric shock, have a licensed electrician verify the ground continuity of all 15A and 20A, 125V circuits with a ground continuity tester.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)
The consumer product safety commission (CPSC) recommends that you have GFCI protection for all receptacles in areas where electricity and water are near each other, such as outdoors, in kitchens, bathrooms, workshops, garages, etc. in accordance with the National Electrical Code.
Caution: Test GFCIs monthly and after every major lightning storm, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/99.html
Make sure the bulbs in all fixtures are appropriate for their intended use and the wattage rating doesn’t exceed the lighting manufacturers’ recommendations
Never remove the ground pin (the third prong) or use a “cheater plug” to make a three-prong plug fit a two-prong receptacle (in old homes); this can lead to an electrical shock. If you need to plug a three-prong plug into a two-prong receptacle, then you need the two-prong receptacle to be replaced with a three-prong receptacle of the GFCI type in accordance with the National Electrical Code.
A heavy reliance on power strips is an indication that you need additional receptacle outlets that should be added by a licensed electrician.
To prevent a fire by the overheating of receptacle terminals, have an electrician verify that all wire terminations are secured to the receptacle via a screw and not by a push-in terminal.
To prevent a fire as a result of terminals overheating, have a licensed electrician measure the operating temperatures of large terminals with a thermometer; and repair those that show excessive operating temperatures.
Caution: All electrical terminals at panels, disconnects, receptacles and switches need to be torqued to the manufacturers’ recommendations.
To prevent fires and damage to expensive electronic equipment from lightning, be sure your home has a properly designed surge protection system installed by a licensed electrician.
Tamper Resistant Protection
The consumer product safety commission recommends that all 15A or 20A, 125V receptacles accessible to small children be of the tamper resistant type in accordance with the National Electrical Code.
Caution: Don’t depend on the plastic protector plugs to protect young children, they’re often removed and not replaced. Have a licensed electrician make the necessary changes.
By Mike Holt
UNINSPECTED ELECTRICAL WORK PUTS FAMILIES AT RISK
Years later, her story still haunts the inspectors at the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries [L&I].
A Skagit Country toddler’s curiosity led to tragedy when she wriggled behind the family’s washer and dryer. Unknown to anyone in the home, the machines hid a metal water pipe that was pulsing with electrical current—a byproduct of faulty wiring done years earlier. When the little girl touched it, the pipe delivered a devastating fatal jolt.
“Often, no one knows anything is wrong until a fire erupts or someone gets shocked,” Said Ron Fuller, chief of L&I electrical program. “Most improperly installed equipment will appear to work fine, sometimes for years.”
With the springtime remodeling season in full swing, PEMCO insurance in their monthly mailer “PERSPECTIVE” urges their customers to make sure all electrical work is permitted and inspected for your family’s safety. That’s especially important now in tight-budget times, when more homeowners may be doing electrical work themselves rather than hiring a professional electrical contractor.
WHAT WORK NEEDS AN ELECTRICAL PERMIT?
Although there’s no way to know the exact count, electrical inspector Doug Erickson says the number of unpermitted uninspected electrical jobs in Washington State “is probably massive.”
“People don’t realize that most electrical installations, except for small jobs like replacing broken switches, require inspection,” he said.
While many homeowners don’t know what the law requires, others simply don’t want to pay the $45 dollar permit fee (typical for a small project) or leave work to meet the inspector.
“Sure it takes some time,” said Erickson, “but compared with a problem that could injury your family or cause a fire, the investment in an inspection is insignificant.”
HOW TO GET A PERMIT AND INSPECTION
If you are hiring a licensed contractor, they are responsible to buy the permit and arrange for inspection of the work. However, if you have the expertise and plan to do the work yourself, you have several options for getting a permit.
Cities vary in their permitting requirements. Some mandate you buy it from them (search “city electrical inspectors” on www.lni.wa.gov for a list). Others allow you to contact the L&I office in your area or buy online at www.ElectricalPermitsInspections.Lni.wa.gov. L&I complete 93% of inspections within 48hrs of the request.