May is Electrical Safety Month

Electric cooperatives in North Carolina recognize May as Electrical Safety Month and remind members to take electrical safety measures every day.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 400 people are electrocuted in the U.S. each year. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that 345,000 house fires occur every year, resulting in an approximately 2,600 deaths, 11,000 injuries and $7.3 billion in property damage.

“With electricity touching every aspect of our lives from charging our phones to the new technologies of residential battery storage and electric vehicles, we must raise our awareness and live safely with electricity,” said Farris Leonard, director of job training and safety for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “Electricity itself is safe as long as it is used properly and in its controlled state. To help reduce these tragic statistics we must eliminate the hazards and keep safety practices at the top of our mind.”

This month, and every month, co-ops are urging members to practice safe electricity habits to keep you safe and reduce the risk of electrocution or fire. Here are four simple ways you can help keep yourself and your family safe:

  • Don’t overload power outlets.
  • Inspect electrical cords often for broken connectors or fraying. Throw away any worn cords to eliminate the possibility of shock, short circuit or fire.
  • The wattage of the bulbs you use in your home should match the wattage indicated on the light fixture. Overheated fixtures can lead to a fire.
  • Keep in mind that appliances, even if turned off, are still connected to electricity until they are unplugged. Turn off and unplug all portable electrical appliances, like hairdryers and toasters, when you’re finished using them, and remember to always unplug appliances before cleaning or repairing them.

For more safety tips, contact your local electric cooperative or visit