Electrical Safety

ESFI reinforces proper use of extension cords to reduce risk of electrical fires

At home or at work, all of us at one time or another have used extension cords to power up a lamp or TV, computers, our electronics and other gadgets. But did you know that if you use these cords the wrong way, you could start a fire? Yes, in fact, roughly 3,000 home fires start in extension cords each year, so it's important to keep safety in mind when using them. All through the month of May, Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is promoting National Electrical Safety Month with tips, tools and resources to help raise awareness of electrical safety. This week we're highlighting ESFI's extension cord safety infographic, which provides important steps you can take to help you and your family reduce the risk for damage or injury when using extension cords throughout your house. Download it for free and share with family and friends. Think you've got safety under control? Take a look at an extension cord you may have in your living room, kitchen or bedroom. If it looks like a spider web with multiple cords protruding out of it, It means you have too few outlets in the room for your needs. Solution? You'll want to consult a licensed electrician and consider having additional outlets installed in the room and throughout the house. This is just one of the many safety tips you can get from ESFI. Review the infographic to get more resources that will point you in the right direction. You can also get great information on NFPA's electrical safety webpage including a downloadable tips sheet and video.
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When it comes to fire safety in high rise buildings, sprinklers trump!

Having just recently visited the Trump Tower in New York City, the headlines of “Fire Controlled in the Chicago Trump Tower” caught my attention. Perusing just the lower floors of the Tower in New York provided a sense of the size and magnitude of these tremendous buildings and what it would take to respond to a fire on an upper floor.  And though evacuation plans and emergency systems may be in place, in the event of a fire, nothing “trumps” fire sprinklers when it comes to protecting lives and property. The recent press release by the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board points out the glaring difference in outcomes of fires that have recently occurred in Chicago high rise buildings that had sprinklers and those that did not.  And while many cities, like Chicago, are trying to catch up to national model codes, in some cases it may not be fast enough. As customers, buyers, and tenants, we must take the responsibility to protect ourselves through education.  It is vital to know the facts about fire sprinklers and also to investigate if they are installed in the places where we choose to live and stay.  Whether it's a long term residence or an overnight stay in a hotel, we have the power to choose the level of life-safety protection that we are willing to accept. Take a moment to read and share the educational resources that NFPA provides on high rise safety, fire sprinklers, and hotel/motel safety!
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