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Electricity can jump to nearby objects! Never touch power lines, but don’t get too close either. Keep yourself and your equipment at least 10 feet away in all directions.
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Every year, thousands of Americans are critically injured and electrocuted in their own homes as a result of electrical fires and accidents. But you can prevent many electrocutions and home fires by understanding basic electrical safety principles and following safe practices.
(National Fire Protection Association, 2003–2007)
(U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission)
The best way to protect your family and your home against the risk of electrical fires or electrocution is to hire a qualified, licensed electrician to perform any electrical work in your home. Content obtained from Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI). Learn more at www.electrical-safety.org.
In both commercial and residential buildings, different classes of fire are encountered and each requires specific knowledge on how it started and how to properly go about putting it out. Class C fires burn combustibles, but are distinct because they involve electrical components or equipment with the potential to be energized.
Generally it is not dangerous to energize electrical components, gadgets, devices and equipment. They do not present a hazard unless they are handled incorrectly or have the potential to alter into something that presents a danger.
When a fire starts from a short circuit or another type of electrical problem, and the source of energy is still live, the situation is highly dangerous and a class C fire can typically occur. Note that this type of fire is designated as class E in the Australian standards.
If the flames have been designated as class C, the electrical supply needs to be identified and cut off. Electricity, when flowing freely, can serve as a constant source of ignition, allowing the combustibles to continue burning. All of the other elements of the fire tetrahedron are also present – oxygen, chemical reaction and fuel. In the case of class C, the electricity provides the ignition or spark.
The most important thing to remember is that a class C fire cannot be fought with water; you must use non-conductive substances. Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers, and those loaded with a dry chemical like PKP, are effective.
Conductive substances such as water or foam can put the fire fighter at risk. When the source of electricity has not been cut off and water is sprayed into the flames, it can cause those electrical charges to spread and potentially create electrocution. If the electricity finds a path from the flames, through the water, to the fire fighter’s body, and into the ground, serious injury usually occurs; in fact, that kind of charge can be fatal.
The first step in fighting class C fires is to cut off the source of power, basically transforming the flames into a standard class A fire. Standard fire extinguishing methods can then be used to douse the flames.
Most often firefighters wear footwear with rubber soles (approved footwear often has the Omega symbol). Such boots cut off the path of electricity, protecting the wearer from electrocution even if conductive materials are in the air, such as water or foam.
It is important that your home’s wiring is installed and updated according to current building codes in order to prevent short circuits and overloads. Keep your pets and young children away from electrical equipment in order to protect them and reduce the risk of accidents that may cause a fire. Do not use damaged cords and plugs.
Class C fires occur quickly and must be put out with equal speed. Knowing the proper way to fight this type of fire is important – it can save lives.
Source: Fire Extinguisher 101
Severe weather can strike at any time. Know how to protect against power surges, what to do during a storm and after if it floods, and how to use generators safely. Being prepared can help you minimize storm-related electrical hazards and prevent electrically related deaths, injuries and property loss.
Stay safe during seasonal activities and celebrations throughout the year. Know how to warm up and decorate for the holidays with caution. In spring, enjoy the outdoors out of harm’s way. In summer, relax and play near the water with peace of mind. And in fall, take care of your DIY projects, yard work and winter preparations safely.
and stay safe.
longer days, safely.
summer months carefree.
Be careful as
the days cool.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International strongly recommends hiring a qualified, licensed electrician to perform any electrical work in your home. However, if you do decide to do it-yourself, consider the following important safety tips.
Education and awareness can help keep kids safe around electricity. Visit the Electrical Safety Foundation International Kids’ Corner to watch adventure cartoons, play sleuthing games and learn along the way.
Private I. Plug, the 100% certified electrical safety investigator, will meet you there!