Media Contact: Paul Klein, (626) 302-2255
ROSEMEAD, Calif., May 12, 2011 - May is National Electrical Safety Month and Southern California Edison (SCE) and the Electrical Safety Foundation International urge a healthy respect for electricity and increased awareness of electrical hazards.
Annually, nearly 51,000 home fires involving electrical failure or malfunction injure more than 1,400 people in the United States and cause more than $1.3 billion in property damage. Nearly 400 people are electrocuted.
"We're pleased to be part of the national effort to raise awareness about potential work and home electrical hazards and the importance of electrical safety," said William Messner, SCE acting director, Corporate Environment, Health and Safety. "We have a tremendous reliance on electricity due to the convenience it offers. But we should be aware of its hazards and how to be safe around it."
SCE recommends these simple safety rules:
- Put plastic safety caps in unused wall outlets to prevent children from pushing objects into outlet openings.
- Never remove the third prong from a three-pronged plug. The third prong grounds electricity. If you don’t have three-hole outlets, adapters are available at the hardware store.
- Repair or replace damaged or brittle electrical cords. They can cause shorts, shocks or electrical fires. Check appliances to make sure cords are in good condition.
- Use electrical cords properly. To avoid damaging cords, remove them from outlets by pulling the plug, not the cord. Never attach a cord to another surface with nails or staples, which can break the insulation. Avoid kinking, twisting, binding or walking on cords.
- Use ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs, to protect yourself from shock. These special outlets prevent electric shock by detecting electrical faults and shutting off electricity to the outlet when necessary. They are especially important in kitchens, bathrooms and other places where water is present.
- Keep water away from electricity and electrical appliances.
- Know how to safely care for and replace fuses and how to reset circuit breakers.
Information on electrical safety can be found at www.sce.com/safety.
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.