How Many Electrical Accidents Happen in the Home?

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Electrocutions in the home have decreased; however, the incidents of electrical fires in the home have increased.

To ensure electrical safety in your Ottawa home call Ring Electric at (613)299-8239 or visit for a quote to bring your electrical system up to code.

Home safety is one of the biggest concerns for consumers today. Not only is the safety of their family a huge issue, but no one wants to lose all of their materials in an accident that could have been prevented.

One area that consumers have begun to learn more concerning safety is electricity. Every year, tens of thousands of people are either killed or injured from contact with electricity. Most of these incidents happen because of a lack of safety precautions, as well as overall knowledge in the field of electricity.

Michael G. Clendenin is the executive director for the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI). ESFI is North America’s only non-profit organization exclusively dedicated to the promotion of electrical safety in the home, school, and workplace. He has created a catalog of electrical safety resources, issuing safety tips through publications, media relations, and their website. He currently acts as the spokesperson for the ESFI and the electrical industry on matters of electrical safety awareness. Clendenin understands how important it is for consumers to arm themselves against electrical hazards by gaining valuable information.

“While the number of accidental electrocutions in the home has diminished significantly over the years, the greater hazard of electrical related fires has shown no definitive trend up or down,” he says. “According to the latest statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there is an annual average of 111,400 home fires caused by faulty electrical distribution systems, electrical appliances, or heating and air conditioning systems. On average, these faulty fires are taking 860 lives, injuring 3,785, and causing nearly $1.3 billion in property damage. Meanwhile, our dependence on electricity and the degree to which we take it for granted has increased.”

Experts suggest that homeowners make the necessary precautions around the home to help eliminate electrical hazards. For one, homeowners should check the extension cords that they use in their home. Be sure that the cords are used for what they were intended to be used for and be certain they aren’t defective.

Extension cords should also be used for temporary purposes and never for an extended amount of time. Be sure to use extension cords designated for outdoor use when using in an outdoor setting. Also be sure to check your cord before plugging it in for any cracked, frayed, or defective areas. If the cord is defective, dispose of it in a proper manner so that no one else will accidentally use the defective extension cord.

Another area that consumers should be concerned about in the home when it comes to electrical safety is water. Electricity travels through conductors and water is a great conductor. Water should be kept at a safe distance when dealing with electricity. The room in the house that presents the biggest risk with water and electricity safety is the bathroom. Experts advise consumers to always use a ground fault circuit interrupter in rooms such as the bathroom. Ground fault circuit interrupters are basically the outlets with the test and reset buttons on them. The ground fault circuit interrupter works by detecting the flow of electricity through the outlet. If the ground fault circuit interrupter detects any flow of water, it immediately shuts off.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Kilovars says:

    I agree that the procedures outlined will prevent the vast majority of electrical accidents. Getting people to follow them is the hard part.

    The times when my associates and I face the greatest danger from electricity is during maintenance work where there are live backfeeds discovered in the switchgear we are working on. These usually come from UPS bypass circuits. Checking all of the conductors is a must.

    Neutral conductors also pose a hazard because until they are opened they have no potential. We use clamp-on ammeters to check for current before opening these connections.

    Thanks, I enjoyed the article.

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