Presented to you by the Virginia Chapter International Association of Electrical Inspectors.

For the past Twelve Years the Governors of Virginia have designated May as "Electrical Safety Month".  Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe from accidents that can arise from electrical products from age, damage or misuse.

Click here to download a printable copy of our Electrical Safety Tips brochure.


Do you know about ESD (Electrical Shock Drowning)?

You should, it may save your life or a loved one's life.

Electrical Shock drowning is caused from electrical leakage to the water from a faulty electrical grounding systems in either watercraft or shore power systems.  For more information, visit www.boatus.com/seaworthy/ESD or click here to download a PDF copy of this article.


  1. Inform your children. Talk to your children about playing around power lines and poles.  This is the real world and not like in the movies.  ELECTRICITY KILLS!  Flying kites are fun and should be.  Take your children to areas where they will be safe from power lines.  Power stations have fenced areas, and children love to climb fences to retrieve their toys.
  2. Extension cords. Extension cords are designed for temporary use. Do not run extension cords under carpets, through door or window openings.  Be sure to inspect the cords for nicks, cuts. If the extension cord does have cuts or nicks DO NOT USE THEM! Extension cords are cheaper than a new house. Do not over load extension cords.
  3. Exterior Receptacle covers. If you install exterior decorations you should use what is known as "In Use" covers.  This protects you and your cords from the weather when they are plugged in.
  4. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. All out door receptacles are required to be on ground fault circuit interrupters, same with kitchen counter top receptacles and bathroom receptacles. The GFCI’s have a TEST and RESET button on them. You should use the test button regularly to test your GFCI. It is recommended that GFCI be tested once a month.
  5. Smoke Detectors. Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and either vacuum or blow clean of trapped dust once a year.
  6. Check the wattage of light bulbs in all light luminaires. All light fixtures have a label with the rated size wattage light bulb required for that light. This also includes table lamps, but especially light fixtures with covers for they hold the heat in. If the light fixture is missing its label than we recommend 60-watt maximum for safety.
  7. Check all lamp cords. After a period of time light fixture cord dries out, they become brittle and will crack causing a possible shock hazard or fire hazard. Also you should check lamp cords to be sure they are not being pinched by furniture. Also be sure they do not cross traffic areas to avoid tripping hazards. If you have pets they may be using lamp cords as chew toys.
  8. Wall Receptacles. If you have any unused wall receptacles it is recommended that childproof caps be installed if you have children. If your cord does not fit snuggly in the receptacle or the cord just falls out because it is loose have the receptacle replaced. Make sure all wall receptacles have cover plate over them. Replaced any that are cracked or broken. Do you have adapters plugged into you receptacles? Adapters are designed for temporary use, if you need to use one permanently than you should have a licensed electrician install extra receptacles were you need adapters.
  9. Light Switches. Make sure all wall switches have cover plate over them. Replaced any that are cracked or broken. Do the Switches feel warm to the touch? Do they feel loose? Do you see sparks coming from the switch when you turn it on? If you experience any of these problems you should call a licensed electrician to have them checked out.
  10. Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters. Homes built after 2004 should have arc-fault circuit interrupters installed as new construction. The AFCI’S have a TEST and RESET button on them. You should use the test button regularly to test your AFCI’S. It is recommended that AFCI’S be tested once a month. If you do not have AFCI protection in your home, it is recommended that you have a licensed electrician install them for you. They are the best defense to shorts and fires you could have, and check with your insurance company, they may reduce your rates making installation of AFCI’s beneficial.
  11. Room Air Conditioners and Room Heaters & Baseboard Heaters. If you use any of these appliances you should have a licensed electrician add new receptacles to handle the extra load. And be sure to keep clothing and curtains at least 6” away from the appliance.
  12. Install child proof safety caps to prevent children from sticking objects into outlets.

Click here for more Holiday Safety Checklist Tips.

2014 May Electrical Safety Month - IAEI Virginia Chapter


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