Historic John Adams House focuses on electrical safety to kickoff National Electrical Safety Month

Published on May 1, 2008
Historic John Adams House focuses on electrical safety to kick-off National Electrical Safety Month

From the press event at the John Adams "Old House" on May 1, 2008
(Click pictures to see larger image)

Posing in front of the house were Tom Lyons of the Quincy Fire Department, Chairman of ESFi's BOD David Tallman, President of ESFi Brett Brenner, Deputy Superintendent of the Adams National Historical Park Caroline Keinath, Jim Shannon and Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan.
NFPA President James M. Shannon said, "I think John Adams would approve of us standing in this yard today," as Caroline Keinath, David Tallman, Brett Brenner and Stephen Coan look on.
May 1, 2008 -- To kick off May as National Electrical Safety Month, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi) are joining together to raise the public’s awareness about the importance of electrical safety. ESFI announced today that they will be making a special donation to the Adams National Historical Park by upgrading John Adams’ famous home with the most advanced electrical technology available ensuring that one of America’s treasures will benefit from the extra fire protection this technology brings. The National Fire Protection Association is sharing findings from a newly released report on electrical fires and the launch of a new electrical safety resource kit for fire departments.

Electrical fires are a leading cause of home fires in the United States,accounting for nearly 54,000 home fires each year. These fires cause more than 500 deaths, 1400 injuries, and $1.4 billion in property damage annually. Electrical problems pose an even greater threat in older homes.   

“While no home – even if its historical – is completely immune from fire, technology has improved dramatically over the last 15 years,” noted Jim Shannon, President of NFPA, at the press conference. “Our goal today is to remind people that they can take steps to prevent electrical fires from occurring in their home.”

ESFi will equip John Adams’ home with advanced circuit breakers known as arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs). AFCIs detect dangerous conditions in a home’s wiring and cut off power to the circuit before a fire develops. It is estimated that AFCIs can prevent more than 30,000 home fires annually.

Additionally, ESFi will be fitting the Adams' homes with tamper-resistant outlets. These outlets look like typical receptacles but they have a built-in shutter system which prevents children from sticking objects into the outlets, but allows plugs to inserted and removed as normal.

“Updating the oldest Presidential birthplace with today’s technology is just the beginning,” said Brett Brenner, President of ESFi. “The donation ESFI is making to provide electrical upgrades to the Adams House is just one example of how new technologies that are widely available to the public can enhance home fire safety. This event is the first of many educational efforts that will be focused on this month. 

For National Electrical Safety Month, ESFi is providing the public with a checklist that will allow consumers to identify electrical dangers commonly found in each room of their home. NFPA is also launching a special initiative during May. A resource kit is being rolled out to 30,000 fire departments nationwide that will provide firefighters with the tools necessary to promote electrical safety in their own communities, including a new animated PSA that can be viewed at www.nfpa.org/safeandenergized.  

For more information about National Electrical Safety Month, visit www.electrical-safety.org.  

For more information on electrical safety from NFPA’s new resource kit, visit www.nfpa.org/safeandenergized.

NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.

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Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275