Tips for Consumers and Workers During Electrical Safety Month

Tips for Consumers and Workers During Electrical Safety Month

May is National Electrical Safety Month. This observance allows us all to take some time to educate ourselves about important electrical safety topics. In today’s environment where our homes, businesses and transportation methods are becoming more electrified, electrical safety is more important than ever. We hope that, whether you are a consumer or an electrical safety professional, these reminders can help you increase your electricity IQ. 

Electrical safety tips for consumers

  • Never place anything that burns near a furnace, water heater, space heater or stove.
  • Never use electrical equipment near water. Water and electricity NEVER mix.
  • Replace ANY damaged electrical equipment.
  • Know what’s below before you dig. Dial 8-1-1 to have your local electric or natural gas company representative mark the location of underground lines for free.

Cords and outlets

  • Always inspect electrical cords and replace them if damaged or loose.
  • Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets. Remember, extension cords are for temporary use ONLY. 
  • If outlets or switches feel warm and you’re having problems with blowing fuses, tripped circuits or flickering lights, call a professional to fix these issues.
  • Remember to unplug outlets when not in use.
  • Check all power strips and surge protectors and make sure there is zero risk of a circuit overload.

Lamps and bulbs

  • Be sure to place lamps on level surfaces and away from things that can burn.
  • Only use bulbs that match electronics recommended wattage.

Appliances and tools 

  • Always connect countertop appliances to ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) receptacles.
  • Test your smoke detectors to make sure they are working properly.
  • Unplug power tools and appliances when they’re not in use.
  • Use power tools with gloves and other personal protective gear.

Power lines 

  • Never touch downed power lines.
  • Watch for overhead power lines every time you use a ladder, work on roofs and trees, or carry long tools or loads. Overhead power line contact was the biggest cause of electrical fatalities between 2011 and 2021 in the U.S.

Kids and electricity 

  • For households with small children, place safety caps along all unused outlets.
  • Teach children not to touch electrical outlets or appliances (especially with wet hands), whether they're on or off.
  • Educate children on the dangers of “green boxes” (substations and transformers) and teach them not to play on them.
  • Keep kites, model airplanes and metallic balloons away from power lines.

Safety tips for those who work with electricity 

In May and throughout the year, set aside time to make sure all of your safety equipment is ready for you. And pass along your knowledge and experience to others: when seasoned electrical workers take the time to teach those new to the trade the ins and outs of testing their safety products, the whole industry benefits. 

Keep these tips in mind: 

  • Carefully assess each job site, identify the hazards and create a plan to safely perform the required tasks.
  • Use your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • Make sure you maintain your PPE. According to OSHA, Insulating Protective Equipment must be inspected for possible defects before each day's use.
  • Use cover-up equipment to keep from inadvertently making contact with energized equipment and help prevent energized equipment from contacting a grounded surface.
  • Never assume something is de-energized: make sure to test it, ground it and retest it to ensure it is safe to work.

Honeywell’s role in electrical safety 

Honeywell Salisbury provides electrical workers with the finest equipment available for the job. We know lives depend on high-quality electrical safety gear, so we are committed to keeping safety top-of-mind. 

Learn more

This article is part of a series. For more electrical safety tips, read Russ’s previous blogs.

About the Author: Russ Owen, CUSP, served in the U.S. Military for 21 years, 13 of which were spent in the U.S. Army doing power generation and distribution, and 6 years in power distribution safety. Now he is a senior technical lead at Honeywell Salisbury and serves on ASTM International committees (formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials). His experience as a lineman gives him first-hand insight into how to make our products both high-quality and user friendly.