Raleigh, N.C. —Electricity is a vital resource North Carolinians depend on daily, but when used unsafely, the consequences can be costly and lethal. According to the North Carolina Department of Insurance, 3,250 electrical source fires caused $25.3 million worth of damage in the state in 2004.
Nationally, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission statistics report that on average, at least one US citizen dies every day in electrical-related fires or accidental electrocutions in their own home. Many of these tragedies involved common and every day items such as power outlets, appliances, power cords, power equipment and extension cords. Sadly, most of these death and injuries were preventable.
To help reduce electric safety casualties and injuries, North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives are observing “North Carolina’s Electric Safety Month.” Throughout the month of May, the state’s electric cooperatives will offer a variety of electric safety information to educate people of all ages the dangers of electricity.
“The high reliability of electric service often leads people to take safety for granted. These sobering statistics prove it’s vital to inform people across the state about how to use electricity safely,” said Suzanne Ward, manager of public relations for North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives. “Awareness is the key to electric safety. If people are aware of the hazards present around them at home, work, at play and at school those grim statistics can be dramatically reduced.”
The following Touchstone Energy Safety Tips will help prevent electrical related accidents:
- Read and follow the operating instructions that come with every electrical product.
- Replace worn or frayed electrical cords.
- Remember not to overload circuits and extension cords with too many electric appliances.
- When a fuse blows or a circuit breaker trips, learn the cause before replacing or resetting. If you can’t find out, call an electrician.
North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives serve 2.2 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties.