Raleigh, N.C. —Electricity was first delivered to rural parts of North Carolina more than 70 years ago by a group of farmers who recognized the value of providing electricity to these areas. Electricity now reaches every part of the state, and although the demand is higher than ever, the value of electricity that the group of farmers recognized has remained constant. We rely on it every day to provide us light, heat our homes and power our computers. It allows us to live fuller and more productive lives, but if used improperly or carelessly, it has the potential to be life threatening.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, each year, more than 400 people die as a result of improperly using electrically charged devices. Thousands of others are injured, and the misuse of these devices also causes an annual average of 140,000 house fires, resulting in more deaths and injuries.
To help reduce electric safety casualties and injuries, North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are observing May as “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 about the dangers of electricity.
“Proclaiming May as North Carolina Electrical Safety month has given the electric cooperatives the unique opportunity to focus on electrical safety in North Carolina,” said Tommy Greer, Director of Job Training and Safety for North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation. “May is a perfect time to reacquaint ourselves with safety basics, such as reading safety instructions on electrical appliances and products, paying attention to safety markings on electrical equipment and checking power cords to see if they are in safe condition to use in our home, offices and outdoor areas.”
The hope of the electric cooperatives is that North Carolina Electrical Safety Month will help raise awareness of electrical safety in the home, school, and workplace and teach the public not to take electricity for granted.
North Carolina’s electric cooperatives provide energy to 2.5 million people in 93 of 100 counties, primarily in rural parts of the state. The electric cooperatives own and maintain 95,000 miles of power lines, by far the most of any electric utility in North Carolina.