To help promote public awareness of the importance of electrical safety, the City of Mesa’s Energy Resources Department is joining with the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) in its promotion of May as National Electrical Safety Month. Each week in May, this year’s campaign will address one of four key safety issues: do-it yourself safety, office safety, safety education for kids, and industrial safety. Do-It-Yourself Safety According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, the U.S. home improvement market has nearly doubled in size in the last ten years to over $290 billion per year. Over the same period of time, emergency rooms reported an increased number of injuries that were the direct result of persons performing home electrical work. Working with electricity can be dangerous unless you adhere to the rules. Therefore, you should always consider hiring a qualified, licensed electrician to do home electric projects but when undertaking any home electrical project on your own, safety rules you should follow include: • Before beginning any project involving electrical work, make an effort to learn as much as possible about your home electrical system; • Admit your weaknesses. Never attempt a project that is beyond your skill level. Knowing when to call a professional may help prevent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities; • Always shut off power at the main disconnect before changing a fuse; Always shut off power to the circuit or at the main before repairing or replacing a switch, receptacle, or fixture; • Always tape over the main switch, empty fuse socket, or circuit breaker when you're working. Leave a note there so no one will accidentally turn on the electricity. Keep any fuses you've removed away from the box; • DO NOT TOUCH plumbing or gas pipes when performing a do-it-yourself electrical project; and • NEVER WORK ON ANY LIVE CIRCUIT, FIXTURE, RECEPTACLE OR SWITCH. Your life may depend on it. ***Remember - For additions or repairs to your Mesa property, always ensure that you use qualified licensed contractors and have obtained proper permits. Office Safety Stay safe from electrical safety hazards in the workplace. When determining where electric equipment and cords can safely be placed, plan ahead to avoid injuries and equipment damage and: • Do not overload circuits. Use multiple outlets for electrical equipment; • Use only grounded (3-prong) appliances and equipment in grounded outlets; • Protect office electronics from possible spillage of food and beverages; • Place electrical cords where they cannot be cut by sharp desk or drawer edges, or rolled over by chair legs; • Do not place electrical cords across doorways or other openings; and • Keep electrical cords away from radiators, space heaters, and/or other heat sources. Electrical Safety Education "4" Children Early education and reinforcement of safety around electricity and all forms of energy helps to make energy safety a part of your children’s everyday activities and thinking. Teach your children to respect energy and electricity and to avoid danger by following important safety tips whenever electricity is near: • Respect the Cord. Electrical cords have wires inside them that carries electricity from the wall socket to the TV, microwave, and other electrical devices - so it’s important to avoid handling cords without adult supervision. Ask an adult if you want something plugged in or unplugged and, if given permission, only connect or disconnect a cord by the plug. Make sure you tell an adult when a cord is bent, cracked, frayed or smoking. • Water and Electricity Don’t Mix. Electricity flows easily through water. Stay safe by keeping electricity and water far apart. In fact, electricity and any liquid should be kept apart. • Stop the Shock. Stay away from electrical outlets even when they’re not in use. Never touch or insert objects in electric outlets. Keep electrical objects away from water, and water away from electrical objects. Keep water/drinks away from electrical outlets. • Fight Fires Before They Start. Tell an adult when something is too near a lamp, heater, or other hot surface. If any electric appliance or cord is smoking, tell an adult immediately and follow your escape plan. • GET OUT, GET HELP AND CALL 9-1-1. Every family should have an emergency escape plan. Make sure everyone in the family knows and practices the plan including the escape route. Both the City of Mesa’s Energy Resources Department and the ESFI offer a free, interactive and fun websites for children to learn about electrical safety. Visit Electric and Natural Gas Safety World and ESFI's Kid’s Corner and let your child’s adventure into safety begin. Electrical Safety in the Field Electrical accidents on the job cause an average of 13 days away from work for each accident and nearly one fatality every day. The first step in avoiding electrical hazards begins with safety awareness. Know your employer’s safety requirements and follow them. If you are unsure “ASK BEFORE YOU ACT!”. ENERGY SAFETY IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY. WHETHER ELECTRIC OR NATURAL GAS: BE EDUCATED, BE AWARE AND BE SAFE.