Electrical Ignorance Plays Havoc at Holiday Time

The Electrical Safety Foundation International knows the public needs some quick education when it comes to electrical safety during the holidays. Adults in both urban and rural areas know too little about the basics and may be at more risk of a fire or injury in their homes.

"Unfortunately, more than one-fifth of Americans consider their home's electrical system to be unsafe," ESFI President Brett Brenner said. "But even more alarming is that 34 percent of all respondents do not agree with the statement that electrical products, if improperly used or operated, are a leading cause of household fires."

Using extension cords as a permanent power supply and not for the temporary use as designed is a typical error. Nearly 25 percent of Americans have not replaced their smoke detector batteries within the past two years or don't know when they were last replaced. Only 44 percent ever test their ground fault circuit interrupters, although this should be done monthly.

ESFI also said nearly 130,000 fires will be reported in December alone, claiming over 400 lives and causing more than 1,600 injuries, and the number of children injured and killed by fires more than doubles during the holiday months. Visit www.holidaysafety.org for information, electrical safety video clips, and more.

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