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North Haven Fire Department Offers Residents Electrical Safety Tips

May Recognized as National Electrical Safety Month

NORTH HAVEN — Chief Paul Januszewski and the North Haven Fire Department wish to remind residents of important electrical safety tips this May. 

Each year during the month of May, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) recognizes National Electrical Safety Month to raise awareness about electrical safety.

This year’s Electrical Safety Month theme is “Connected to Safety,” which aims to help people understand the emerging technology that makes a home safe and efficient. Click here to learn more about electrical safety for electric vehicles, solar photovoltaic technology, temporary power, making your home safe and efficient, and renovating your home to code.

According to ESFI, home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year, 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries and $1.3 billion in property damage.

“There are simple things residents can do to help prevent electrical fires,” Chief Januszewski said. “Among these preventative measures include avoiding overloading outlets and ensuring your appliances are powered in a safe and proper way.”

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers the following electrical fire safety tips:

  • Make sure all electrical work is done by a qualified electrician.
  • When buying a new home or remodeling, have it inspected by someone qualified to do so.
  • Don’t plug more than one heat-producing appliance into an outlet, like a space heater or toaster.
  • Do not plug a major appliance, like a refrigerator, dryer, washer, stove or air conditioner, into an extension cord. These machines need to be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet.
  • Consider having an advanced circuit breaker installed, which will shut off electricity when a problem is detected. 
  • Do not run electrical cords across doorways or under carpets. Extension cords are intended to be used temporarily.
  • Make sure you’re using a light bulb with the correct number of watts.
  • The NFPA encourages people to call a qualified electrician if fuses blow frequently in the home, circuit breakers frequently trip, you have a tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance, wall outlets are warm or discolored, a burning or rubbery smell is coming from an appliance, you notice flickering or dimming lights or see sparks coming from an outlet. 

The NFPA also has several tips for outdoor electrical safety:

  • Only use lighting, power tools and extension cords that are meant to be used outdoors and have been listed by a qualified test laboratory.
  • Store electrical tools indoors and keep them away from children.
  • Make sure the area around your electric meter and other electrical equipment is clear.
  • Before turning on a light or using an extension cord, check it for damage. Do not use damaged cords.

As always, ensure your smoke detectors are tested regularly and functioning as they should, and that everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.

Residents that have any questions about electrical safety can contact the North Haven Fire Department at 203-239-5321. As always, if you have an emergency, call 911.