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It’s June—and your electric cooperative is celebrating National Safety Month. Safety for our members and employees is our top priority year-round, and now is a good time to take an even closer look at the importance of safety.
This year, we’re focusing on electrical safety in the home. Electricity is the cause of more than 140,000 fires each year, resulting in more than 500 deaths, 4,000 injuries and $1.6 billion in property damage, according to Electrical Safety Foundation International.
There are many measures you can take to ensure the safety of your loved ones. Use these helpful tips to safeguard your home.
• Ensure that all countertop appliances are located away from the sink.
• Keep all appliance cords away from hot surfaces. Pay particular attention to cords around toasters, ovens and ranges. Cords can be damaged by excess heat.
• The top and the area above the cooking range should be free of combustibles, such as potholders and plastic utensils. Storing these items on or near the range may result in fires or burns.
• The wattage of the bulbs you use in your home should match the wattage indicated on the light fixtures. Overheated fixtures can lead to a fire.
• Check lamp, appliance and extension cords to make sure they are in good condition—not damaged or cracked. Do not attempt to repair damaged cords yourself.
• Extension cords should not be used to provide power on a long-term or permanent basis. Have additional outlets installed by a professional to provide power where needed.
• Nearly two-thirds of fire deaths result from fires in homes without working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms should be located on every level of your home, inside each bedroom and outside each sleeping area.
• Test smoke alarms every month. Batteries should be replaced at least once a year. All smoke alarms should be replaced at least every 10 years.