May is National Electrical Safety Month

Electricity helps make our lives easier, but its potential for shock and fire-related hazards is real and often underestimated. NFPA actively supports National Electrical Safety Month, an annual campaign sponsored by (ESFI), which raises awareness of potential home electrical hazards, the importance of electrical fire safety, and the safety of electrical and non-electrical workers, each May.

This year’s theme, “Energy Resilience,” focuses on how emerging technology, including photovoltaics, electric vehicles, and energy storage systems, can provide energy resilience to homes and businesses and help communities adapt to these changes safely.

With technological advancements in many areas of our lives, such as efficiency and green benefits associated with alternative energy sources, not everyone is aware of the fire and electrical hazards associated with them. National Electrical Safety Month helps educate people about these new technologies and the risks they pose to structures, occupants, and first responders.

In fact, contact with electricity is a leading cause of home and workplace injuries and fatalities, and with new technologies comes added dangers. Take advantage of Electrical Safety Month to better educate communities about these risks and take the needed steps to prevent them.

Homeowners can take these steps to reduce risk:

  • Have all electrical work done by a qualified electrician to ensure a home’s electrical system is installed to meet local codes and can accommodate additional loads imposed from charging electric vehicles.
  • Use surge protective devices to help guard against voltage surges that may occur during power shut-offs and restarts, negatively impacting electronics and other sensitive equipment in the home office.
  • Perform regular testing of ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) and breakers, based on manufacturers instruction, to ensure systems operate safety and efficiently.

Resources for professionals:

In 2021, NFPA launched Faces of Fire/Electrical, a video awareness campaign focused on electrical hazards and created in collaboration with the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors. The series worked to remind everyone about the importance of taking action – at home and in the workplace – to stop electrical incidents from happening. The videos and related resources such as fact sheets, tip sheets, and reports can be found at nfpa.org/facesoffire

For more tips and resources including infographics, fact sheets, videos, and podcasts related to home electrical fire safety, visit the NFPA electrical safety webpage.

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Susan McKelvey
Communications Manager

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