May is National Electrical Safety Month

Monthly Safety Tip from your Black Hawk College Safety Committee

May is National Electrical Safety Month

Electrical safety is of high importance. We wish to raise awareness about potential work and home electrical hazards to keep you safe at work and at home.

Studies indicate that U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 47,820 reported home structure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction from 2007-11. These fires resulted in 455 civilian deaths, 1,518 civilian injuries and $1.5 billion in direct property damage.

Many homes and their electrical systems were built before most modern-day home electronics and appliances were even invented. Today’s increased demand for energy can overburden an older home’s electrical system.

The following tips can help you identify and eliminate electrical hazards to protect your work place and home:

  • Replace or repair damaged or loose electrical cords.
  • Use extension cords as a temporary solution, and never as a permanent power supply.
  • Do not place extension cords in high traffic areas, under carpets, or across doorways/walkways, where they pose a potential tripping hazard.
  • Use a surge protector to protect your computer and other electronic equipment from damage caused by voltage changes.
  • Keep liquids, including drinks, away from electrical items such as televisions and computers.
  • Make sure computer equipment and entertainment centers have plenty of space around them for ventilation.
  • Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time. Heavy reliance on power strips is an indication that you have too few outlets to address your needs (think about fans and space heater use). Have additional outlets installed by a qualified, licensed electrician.
  • If outlets or switches feel warm, frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuits, or flickering or dimming lights, call facilities at work or a licensed and qualified electrician for your home.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.
  • In homes with small children, make sure your home has tamper-resistant (TR) receptacles.


Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative


Disclaimer: These tips have been provided as general information for increasing safety awareness and for informational purposes only. Black Hawk College does not accept any liability for the information or advice (or the use of such information or advice) that is provided. We make every effort to insure the integrity and validity of the data provided.