The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is a non-profit group that leads the charge in educating folks on electrical safety. Their goal is to reduce injuries and death caused by electricity in homes and at work. Each year, they set aside the month of May to focus on electrical safety by choosing a theme. This year’s National Electrical Safety Month theme is “Smart Home”. The purpose of this year’s theme is to “focus on the lifesaving devices that keep a home smart, safe, and secure.” Every day most of the world takes devices and gadgets and plugs them into the wall. With so many working from home right now due to the COVID-19 crisis, this year’s theme couldn’t be more appropriate.
Just for some background, there are a few regulations around electrical safety in the workplace. First, you have OSHA. This federal group has several standards specific to workplace hazards associated with working with electricity. The main two are General Industry in 1910 Subparts I, R, and S, and the Maritime Standards of 1915, 1917, and 1918. These are legal standards that must be followed in the workplace. There is also the National Electrical Code. It is part of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) series. While neither the National Electric Code or NFPA are legally binding, they do set additional safety practices for those using or working with electricity. Each individual state within the US may also have state-level regulations on electrical hazards.
So, what sort of things will play into keeping homes and offices “smart, safe and secure”? There are 8 topics this year. Let’s take a brief look at each one. Most of these topics below also come with a short video clip to really drive home the message. There is also more information and free downloadable materials on EFSI’s website (https://www.esfi.org/resource/national-electrical-safety-month-2020-smart-home-756).
Smart Home Topics:
- Home Electrical Safety addresses the warning signs for an overloaded circuit or electrical system and how to avoid them.
- Home Safety Devices – Renovate your Home to Code is a way to lead people to the National Electrical Code. It also warns of the hazards associated with homes that are older and possibly not able to handle the current demands being made on it. It also gives good hints for anyone renovating or updating a home.
- Extension Cord Safety Tips goes over the types of cords available and how to use them properly. It explains the codes on the cords for type of use, length needed, and limits to each.
- Electrical Safety While Working from Home has 10 tips to follow to keep things safe while working from home. There are things such as inspecting cords, not running cords under rugs, and watch for tripping hazards.
- Home Safety Devices explains the types of safety devices that can be added to a home to help it meet the higher electrical demands but still be safe.
- Home Renovation: Childproofing Outlets provides information from the National Electrical Code on how and when to use Tamper Resistant Receptacles (TRRs) to keep families safe during a renovation.
- Childproofing Your Home: Tamper Resistant Receptacles spends some time via a video explaining more clearly what a TRR is and how they “provide a simple, affordable, reliable, and permanent solution to help prevent these kinds of injuries.”
- Home Surge Protective Devices goes over how to protect any, and all, electronics and how to keep your home safe if there is any type of power surge. They are further explained in the National Electrical Code
Now despite this year’s theme being focused on the home, you can still take time to think about your workplace needs in regards to electrical safety. Allow ICC to help you by developing any posters or signs you may need for around your workplace. We offer various wall posters that cover the new OSHA HazCom2012 and WHMIS 2015 pictograms as well as general information about both of those. We have the ability to create labels for warehouses, machine warnings, and recycling. ICC also has the capability to create various danger, warning, PPE, and safety signs for use at your facility. We even have a line of pipeline signs and hardhat decals. Call us today to help with your site’s safety.