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English Pages 43 Year 2004
The Electrical Safety Handbook is an easy-to-use, illustrated source of life-saving information tailored to fit specific
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Pressestimmen "This is a book that boils the complex IEE regs down to the salient points for a straightforward dome
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Safety in any workplace is extremely important. In the case of the electrical industry, safety is critical and the codes
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UP-TO-DATE, ON-THE-JOB ELECTRICAL SAFETY ESSENTIALS Covering every major electrical standard, including NEC, NESC, NFPA,
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Indoor Electrical SAFETY CHECK
TIPS FOR THE SAFE INDOOR USE OF ELECTRICITY
© 2004 Electrical Safety Foundation International
Published as a public service by the Electrical Safety Foundation International in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Canada Safety Council. The Indoor Electrical Safety Check booklet is made possible through a grant from Intertek Testing Services. No endorsement of any particular product, company or service is implied by their mention in this publication.
Introduction ...................................... 2 Electrical System Inspection ................ 4 Circuit Map and Power Audit ............. 7 The Check List ............................... 10 Fuses/CircuitBreakers ..............................10 ReceptacleOutletsandSwitches............. 13 PowerCords............................................. 15 ExtensionCords....................................... 16 PowerStrips/SurgeProtection................. 19 LightBulbs ................................................20 SpaceHeaters ............................................ 21 SmallAppliancesandTools .................... 23 GroundFaultCircuit Interrupters(GFCIs) ........................... 25 ArcFaultCircuitInterrupters(AFCIs) ...... 28 OtherTechnology .................................... 29 Batteries.................................................... 29
Glossary ......................................... 32 Note: Throughout the booklet, words in blue are listedintheglossary.
achyearmanyconsumersareinjuredand killedinandaroundtheirhomes.Unsafe conditions such as overloaded circuits and damagedwireinsulationaswellasthemisuse of extension cords and other electrical productscreateireandelectricshockhazards. TheU.S.ConsumerProductSafetyCommission(CPSC)estimatesthatbetween1994 and1998,therewasanannualaverageof208 accidentalelectrocutiondeathsrelatedtoconsumer products. In 1999, there were an estimated 150 accidental electrocutions. This reduction is due to improved product safety engineering, better standards and electrical codes, safer installations, and better safety awarenessthankstoattentiveconsumersand theeffortsoforganizationsliketheESFI. However, during the 1994–1998 period there was an estimated annual average of 165,380electrical-relatedhomestructureires whichaccountedforanannualaverageof910 deaths,nearly7,000injuries,andnearly$1.7 billion in property damage. While the numbers vary from year to year, there is no clear downwardtrendasweseewithelectrocutions. Thisunderscoreshowimportantitisforusto remainvigilant. Takeafewminutestolookforandcorrect electricalsafetyhazardsinyourhome.Itdoes nottaketoolongtochecktheinsulationon a cord, move an appliance away from water, checkforcorrectwattagelightbulbs,orhave ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) and
arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) installed. Ontheotherhand,itsometimestakesalifetime to overcome severe electrical injuries thatcanresultfromoverlookingthesesimple things. Electricityisapowerfulandusefulenergy sourcethatalsomustbetreatedwithrespect andextremecaution.Thisbrochureisintendedforuseonlyasaninformationguide,NOT atrainingorinstructionmanual.
INSPECT AND PROTECT! ELECTRICAL SYSTEM INSPECTION
n a number of cases of electrical-related home structure ires investigated by the CPSC, homes ranging from 40 to 100 years old had not been inspected since they were built.Justlikeanyproduct,ourelectricalsystemsgraduallydeterioratewithuse,abuse,age and increased demand. Systems installed in the70sandearlierlikelyneveranticipatedthe demand we place on them today. To ensure the electrical safety of your home, your electricalinspectionshouldbeup-to-date,defects corrected,andserviceupgradedtomeetpresentandforeseeabledemands. ESFI recommends asking the following questions to determine whether you need to haveyourhomeelectricallyinspected: Isyourhome40yearsoldorolder? Has your home had a major addition or renovation or major new appliance added,suchasarefrigerator,freezer,airconditionerorelectricfurnace,inthelast10 years? Are you the new owner of a previously ownedhome? Do your lights often licker or dim momentarily? Doyourcircuit breakerstriporfusesblow often? Areyouroutlet andlightswitchfaceplates hottothetouchordiscolored?
Doyouhearcrackling,sizzlingorbuzzing fromyouroutlets? Do you have extension cords and multiple power strips permanently in use aroundthehouse? Ifyouansweryestoanyoneoftheabove questions,youshouldconsiderhavingaqualiied, licensed electrical inspector, electrician or electrical contractor perform an electrical inspection of your home. Depending on the size of the home, a basic inspection could takebetween30minutestoanhour.ESFIrecommendsthatataminimumtheinspection shouldcheckthefollowingitems: Checkthecapacityoftheelectricalservice tothehouseandprovidealoadtest.Isthe service adequate for present and foreseeabledemands? Check the quality of the exposed wiring including the service entrance if above ground. Checkforexcessivevoltagedropatreceptacles.
Inspectthepanelboxandchecktheconditionofallconnections. Checkthewiringofreceptacles,switches, and light ixtures, and check for proper lampwattages. Verify for polarity and ground wiring at thereceptacles. Checkforrequiredground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)andtesteach. Identifythetypeofwiring(aluminumor copper) and check for the proper size of conductors and the presence of overcurrentprotection. Check the type of wiring insulation (i.e.,clothorthermaplastic)andforwiringinsulationconditionandtemperature rating. Checktheageandtypeofvariouscomponentsoftheelectricalsystem. Checkforpresenceandproperplacement ofsmokealarmsandtesteachone. Checkforappropriatesurgesuppression, and for areas of the country that experience a lot of lightning, consider a surge arrester.
CIRCUIT MAP AND POWER AUDIT
hile you cannot perform your own electrical inspection unless you’re a qualiied, licensed electrician or electrical inspector,somethingyoucandoiscreateadetailedcircuitmapandperformapoweraudit. Thisisnotasubstituteforanelectricalinspection,butitwillhelpyouestablishandmaintainasaferelectricalsystem. Agoodcircuitmapgoesbeyondwhatthe sticker on the inside of the electrical panel doorprovides.Itdetailseveryreceptacleand ixture each circuit serves. To create one is a simple, though admittedly time-consuming processofshuttingoffasinglecircuitatatime and determining which outlets and lighting ixtureshavebeenaffectedeachtime. Asyouproceed,notewhatappliancesare pluggedinateachreceptacle.Circuits canonly handle a speciied total wattage of all the electricalproductsconnectedtothatcircuit.If toomuchwattageisdemandedfromacircuit, seriouselectricalproblemscanresult.Hereis aneasyequationtousetodeterminewhata circuitcanhandle: Volts x Amps = Watts Your electrical panel will indicate your system’s voltage, and each fuse or circuit breakerismarkedforitsamperage.Usingthe equationabove,a15-amp circuit ina120-volt systemcancarryatotalof1800watts.Itisnot recommendedthatyouexceed80%ofthetotal circuit capacity at any given time, in this case1,440watts.
Now, ind the nameplate on each applianceindicatingitspowerratinginwatts.Note theapplianceanditspowerratingontheentry forthatcircuit.Lampsandlightixtures,too, should note the maximumwattage they can take.Ifyoucannotindthepowerrating,contactthemanufacturer.
Some common household examples in watts: Hair dryer ................................... 1600 Deep Fryer .................................. 1500 Portable Heater ........................... 1500 Iron............................................. 1000 Vacuum Cleaner............................. 600 Portable Fan.................................. 150 Television ...................................... 150 Computer ...................................... 150 VCR ................................................. 40 Stereo ............................................. 30 Light bulbs................ 40, 60, 75 or 100 Finally, do the math. Add up the power demandofeveryapplianceandixturedrawingpowerfromthecircuit.Atypicalentryin thecircuitmapshouldlooklikethis: Circuit #3—Kitchen—20amps Totalallowablecapacity(80% oftotalcapacity)=1920watts Servesthreereceptaclesalongthenorth andwestwallsofthekitchen,thekitchenceilinglightingixture(120watts),
andlightixtureoverthesink(60 watts).Appliancespluggedinto receptaclesincludethecoffeemaker (800watts),toaster(800watts),radio (30watts),phone/answeringmachine (100watts). Totaldemandoncircuit=1,910watts. If your total exceeds what the circuit is designed to provide, you may have a dangerous overload and should take immediate measures to alleviate the demands on that circuitbymovingsomeappliancestoanother lesstaxedcircuit,orbyaddinganothercircuit. In fact, you may ind the total demand on yourentiresystemexceedstheservicetoyour home.Inthatcase,considercontractingwith yourutilityfora“heavyup”,orupgradetoa higherlevelofelectricalservice. A good circuit map will let you know at a glance, which circuits are overloaded and whicharestillavailableforadditionaluse.Also,intheeventofanelectricshockorelectricalire,orifyouneedtoremovepowertodo homemaintenanceorrepairsonorarounda circuit,you’llknowwithoutadoubtwhichcircuittoshutoff.
To be on the safe side, remember this rule of thumb: For 15 amps, keep it under 1500 watts. For 20 amps, keep it under 2000 watts
BEFORE YOU PLUG INTO ELECTRICITY, PLUG INTO ELECTRICAL SAFETY—THE CHECKLIST
ith your circuit map and power audit done, it’s time to take a run through thehousewithakeeneyeonsafety.Usethe following checklist on a regular basis to ensureyourhomeremainselectricallysafeyear inandyearout.Ifyouhaven’talreadyhadan electricalinspectionperformedbyaqualiied, licensedelectricianorelectricalinspector,this listcanalsohelpidentifycluesthataninspectionand/orrepairsareneeded.
Fuses/Circuit Breakers Fuses and circuit breakersaresafetydeviceslocatedinyourelectricalpanelthathelpprevent overloadingandires.Theystoptheelectrical currentifitexceedsthesafelevelforsomeportionofthehomeelectricalsystem.Overloadingmeansthattheappliancesandlightingon the circuit regularly demand more electrical currentthanthecircuitcansafelydeliver. Left to right: Edison-base plug fuse (open) Edison-base plug fuse (new) S-Type plug fuse S-Type socket insert Four-fuse panel Pull out fuse Cartridge fuse
Single pole circuit breaker Circuit breaker Ground-fault circuit interrupter
If the demand for electrical current exceeds the safety level, a fuse opens once and mustbereplacedtoreconnectthecircuit.Acircuit breaker“trips”itsswitchtoopenthecircuit,andthecircuitisreconnectedbyclosing theswitchmanually.
Fuses Replacingacorrectsizefusewithalargersize fuse can present a serious ire hazard. Doing sowillallowexcessivecurrenttolowandpossiblyoverloadtheoutletandthehousewiring tothepointthatairecanbegin. Becertainthatcorrect-sizefusesareused (ifyoudonotknowthecorrectsizes,have a qualiied, licensed electrician identify andlabelthesizestobeused). NOTE: Fuses should be rated according to the wire that makes up the branch circuit, not the connected load. Most of the screwbased fuses used should be 15 amperes. Ensure that all fuses rated higher than 15 amperes are compatible with the branch circuit wiring.
Edison-base/S-type Fuses Consumerssometimesreplacea fusethatrepeatedly“blows”withahigherampere rated fuse.Althoughthenewfusemaynotopen,it also may not protect the branch circuit. Doing so masks the real problem of too high a demandbeingplacedonthecircuit.Thefuse willnotopenattheappropriateloadforthat circuit.
Instead of using an inappropriate fuse, takesomethingoffthecircuittobringthedemandtoanappropriatelevel. Topreventfutureinstallationoffusesthat allow currents too high for your wiring, your fuse panel should be converted to S-type sockets that accept only fuses of the correct amperage rating. If you have Edison-basefusesockets,havethemitted withtheS-typesocketinserts. Iffusescontinueto“blow,”keeptrackof whichbranchcircuitsareaffectedandwhich appliancesareinusewhenthepoweroutage occurs. Consult a qualiied, licensed electriciantocorrecttheproblem.
Circuit Breakers Just like fuses, circuit breakers provide overcurrent protection by opening the circuit, or “tripping” when an unsafe level of demand hasbeenplacedonthecircuit. Circuit breakersarealsoratedforvarious currentlevels,suchas15or20amps.Breaker systemsoffermorelexibilityfornewprotectivetechnologieslikeground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) and arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs).Theyalsoofferyoutheabilityto reset the breaker once tripped, getting lights up and running quickly to prevent accidents resultingfromthelackofpowerinthehome. Resettingacircuit breakerisquickerthanreplacingafuseandavoidsthehazardsofoversizedfuses.
When resetting a tripped circuit breaker, beawarethatyourcircuit breaker maytripto an intermediate position close to “ON” instead of the “OFF” position (sometimes it is dificult to see that it has tripped). To reset, move the switch fully to “OFF” and then to “ON.” Beforeresettingatrippedcircuit breaker, turn off or unplug appliances or lamps on the circuit to bring the demand back downtoanacceptablelevel.
Outlets & Switches Switches are used to turn the power on and off.Outlets,orreceptacles,areusuallymounted on a wall or loor to supply electricity throughacordandplugtoappliances,lamps, TV,etc.Thesearethekeypointsinourelectricalsystemsthatgiveusourirstlineofcontrol toourelectricaluse,andtheyarecriticalconnectionpoints.Withtimeanduse,theseconnectionscanbecomeloose,creatingpotential hazards.
Check to make sure outlet and switch plates are not unusually hot to the touch. If they are, immediately unplug cordsfromtheseoutletsanddonotuse the switches. Have a qualiied, licensed electrician check the wiring as soon as possible.
® Lookfordiscolorationasanotherindicationofpotentiallydangerousheatbuildupattheseconnections.Standacrossthe room and look for a tear-drop shaped darkening around and above outlet and switchcoverplates. With outlet and switch cover plates, warm to the touch may be okay, but hot is not. Check that all outlet and switch cover plates are in good condition so that no wiring is exposed. Replace any missing, crackedorbrokencoverplate.
Be sure to use safety caps with unused outlets. Exposed wiring is a shock hazard.
Power Cords Power cords, part of electrical products and appliances,connecttheitemtothepowersupplybypluggingintotheoutlet.Theyneedto bekeptingoodcondition.Evenanelectrical itemthatisinotherwisegoodworkingorder canstillrepresentashockandirehazardifits powercordisdamaged. Checktomakesureelectricalcordsareintactandingoodcondition,notfrayedor cracked. Checktomakesurelamp,extension,telephoneandothercordsareplacedoutof thelowoftrafic.Cordsstretchedacross walkways may cause someone to trip. If you must use an extension cord, place it on the loor against a wall where people cannottripoverit. Whenever possible, arrange furniture so thatoutletsareavailableforlamps,entertainmentproducts,orapplianceswithout theuseofextensioncords. Checktomakesurefurnitureisnotrestingoncords.
Electric cords need ventilation. Cords that run under carpeting or behind baseboards can overheat and cause a ire.
® Check to make sure electrical cords do not run under furniture or carpeting, or behindbaseboards. Nails or staples can damage cords, presenting ire and shock hazards. Check to make sure electrical cords are notattachedtothewalls,baseboards,etc. with nails or staples. Disconnect power before removing nails and staples from onoraroundelectricalcords. Do not attempt to repair cords yourself. Takeanyitemwithadamagedpowercord toanauthorizedrepaircenter,orcutthe cord,safelydisposeoftheitem,andpurchaseanewone. Cutting off the cord when disposing of a damaged electrical product reduces the likelihood of someone else “salvaging” the item and bringing the hazard home with them.
Extension Cords Extensioncordscanbeveryhelpfulindeliveringpowerrightwhereweneedit.However,no matterwhatthegaugeorratingofthecordis, theextensioncordisdesignedasatemporary
solution, not as long-term extension of your household’s electrical system. With continuoususe,theextensioncordcanmorerapidly deteriorate, creating a potentially dangerous electric shock or ire hazard. In addition to thesamesafetytipsthatapplytopowercords, keep the following principles in mind when usingextensioncords. Extension cords should only be used on a temporary basis; they are not intendedaspermanenthouseholdwiring. Unplugandsafelystoreextensioncords aftereveryuse. Aheavyrelianceonextensioncordsisan indicationthatyouhavetoofewoutletsto address your needs. Have additional outletsinstalledwhereyouneedthem.
Make sure extension cords are properly rated for their intended use, indoor or outdoor, and meet or exceed the power needs of the appliance or tool being pluggedintoit.
Assume125Wperampwhencalculating power(wattage)todetermineiftheextensioncordyouintendtouseisproperlyratedfortheappliancebeingconnectedtoit. ReplaceNo.18gaugecordswithNo.16 gaugecords.Olderextensioncordsusing small(No.18gauge)wireswilloverheat at15ampsor20amps. Changethecordtoahigherratedoneor unplugsomeappliances,iftheratingon thecordisexceededbecauseofthepower requirements of one or more appliances beingusedonthecord. Overloaded extension cords can and do cause ires. Use cords with polarized and/or threeprong plugs. Buyonlycordsapprovedbyanindependenttestinglaboratory,suchasUnderwritersLaboratories(UL),ETL-SEMKO(ETL)or CanadianStandardsAssociation(CSA).
Power strips and surge protection Power strips give us the ability to plug more productsintothesameoutlet,whichcanbea help,butalsoahindrancetosafetyifusedinappropriately.Powerstripsandsurgesuppressorsdon’tprovidemorepowertoalocation, justmoreaccesstothesamelimitedcapacity ofthecircuitintowhichitisconnected.The circuitlikelyalsostillservesavarietyofother outletsandixturesinadditiontothemultiple electrical items you might be supplying with thepowerstrip.Inadditiontothetipsabove, keepthesesafetyprinciplesinmindwhenusingpowerstripsandsurgesuppressors. Besureyouarenotoverloadingthecircuit. Knowcapacityofthecircuitandthepowerrequirementsofalltheelectricalitems pluggedintothepowerstripandintoall theotheroutletsonthecircuitaswellas thelightixturesonthecircuit. Aheavyreliancepowerstripsisanindication that you have too few outlets to addressyourneeds.Haveadditionaloutlets installedwhereyouneedthem.
Understand that surge suppressors only protecttheitemspluggedintoit,notback along the circuit into which it is connected. Intheeventofalargesurgeorspike,such asalightningstrike,thesurgesuppressor isaone-time-useprotectorandwilllikely havetobereplaced. Consider purchasing surge suppressors withcableandphonejackstoprovidethe sameprotectiontoyourphone,fax,computermodemandtelevision. Notallpowerstripsaresurgesuppressors, not all surge suppressors can handle the sameloadandevents.Besuretheequipmentyoubuymatchesyourneeds. Forhomesinareaswithahighincidence of lightning, consider having a surge arrestorinstalledatthefuseboxorbreaker panelforwholehouseprotection
Light Bulbs We’ve come to take the light bulb for granted,butthereisawidevarietyofbulbsavailable that provide different levels and quality of light, and that demand different levels of power.Makesureyouareselectingthebulbs thatareappropriateforyourintendeduseand forthepowerratingoftheintendedlampor ixture.
Use a bulb of the correct type and wattage.Ifyoudonotknowthecorrectwattage,contactthemanufacturerofthelamp orixture. Readandfollowlightbulbmanufacturers’ safetyinstructions. Make sure bulbs are screwed in securely —loosebulbsmayoverheat. Place halogen loor lamps (torchieres) away from curtains, beds, rugs or other furnishings.Theselampscanbecomevery hotandcancauseairehazard.Consider replacing halogen torchiere lamps with modelsthatusecooler,moreeficientluorescentbulbs. A bulb of too high wattage or of the wrong type may lead to ire through overheating. Some ceiling ixtures and recessed lights can trap heat.
Portable Space Heaters Portable space heaters can be a blessing in a cold and drafty house in the deep of winter. But space heaters, and any electrical product withaheatingelement,candemandalotof power.Bytheirnature,theyalsoproducealot ofheat,and,ifnotusedcarefully,canbecome airehazard.Makesuretofollowthesesafety principleswithportablespaceheaters: Plug portable space heaters directly into anoutlet;donotuseanextensioncord.
Make certain the circuit into which you plug a space heater can adequately and safelyhandletheaddeddemand. Neverremovethegroundingfeatureona plugbyclippingorgrindingoffthethird prong.
Useanadaptertoconnecttheheater’s3prong plug, if you do not have a 3-hole outlet.Makesuretheadaptergroundwire ortabisattachedtotheoutletground. Relocate heaters away from passageways andkeepalllammablematerialssuchas curtains, rugs, furniture or newspaper at leastthreefeetaway. Unplug and safely store portable space heaterswhennotinuse. Plug portable space heaters directly into an outlet; do not use an extension cord.
Small Appliances and Tools Follow these simple safety precautions with allyoursmallappliancesandtools: Make certain all small appliances and tools are approved by an independent testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), ETL-SEMKO (ETL) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA). (Seeexampleonpage18.) Use small appliances and power tools according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Unplug all small electrical appliances, suchashairdryers,shavers,curlingirons, clothes irons, and toasters, when not in use. Besureyouhaveground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection anywhere electricityandwaterarewithinsixfeetofeach other,suchasinyourkitchen,bathroom and outdoors, to protect against electric shock.Formoreinformation,seethesectiononGFCIs,page25. Takeanydamagedelectricalapplianceor tooltoanauthorizedrepaircenter,orcut the cord, safely dispose of the item, and purchaseanewone.
Even an appliance that is not turned on, such as a hairdryer, can be potentially hazardous if it is left plugged in. If it falls into water in a sink or bathtub while plugged in, it can electrocute you. New hair dryers should always have a safety device called an appliance leakage circuit interrupter (ALCI) on their power cords to protect against electrocution.
Neverreachintowatertogetanappliance that has fallen in without being sure the appliance is unplugged or the circuit is shutoff. “Tucking in” an electric blanket or placing additional coverings on top of it can cause excessive heat buildup, which can start a ire. Donottuckinelectricblankets. Don’tallowanythingontopoftheblanketwhileitisinuse.Thisincludesother blankets or comforters and even pets sleepingontopoftheblanket. Donotuseelectricblanketsonchildren. Never go to sleep with a heating pad thatisturnedon.Itcanburnyou.Newer heating pads have an automatic cut off switch. Sleeping with a heating pad that is turned on can cause serious burns even at relatively low settings.
Check to make sure power tools have a 3-prong plug or double-insulated cords, andconsiderreplacingoldtoolsthathave neither. Useaproperlygrounded3-prongadapter for connecting a 3-prong to a 2-hole receptacle. ConsiderusingaportableGFCIwhenusingpowertools. Replace guards that have been removed frompowertools. There have been many recalls of power tools due to problems with the safety guard sticking. Be sure your model has not been recalled, as this hazard poses a serious risk of injury. Check online at www.recalls.gov. Check power tools before each use for frayed cords, broken plugs or cracked housing.
Test and Protect!—Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)— whichprotectagainstaccidentalelectricshock orelectrocutionbyactingimmediatelytoshut offthecircuitiftheysenseagroundfault,or “leak” of current off the circuit—have been in homes since the early 70s on circuits that come within six feet of water. Homeowners, however,shouldconsiderhavingGFCIprotectionongeneralpurposereceptaclesthroughoutthehome.
ThereareoutletGFCIs protectingeverything in that outlet and downstream on thecircuit,circuit breaker GFCIsprotecting the entire circuit, or portable GFCIs thatprotectjustatthepointofuse. Outlet type GFCI
Circuit breaker type GFCI
Portable type GFCI
A GFCI-protected outlet can provide power withoutgivinganindicationthatitisnolonger providing shock protection. Be sure your GFCI is providing protection from fatal electricshockbytestingitmonthlyandafterevery majorelectricalstorm. YoushouldtestyourGFCIsmonthlyand after every major electrical storm. Here’s how: •
Pushthe“Reset”buttonoftheGFCI receptacle to prepare the unit for testing.
Plug in a night light and turn it on. LightshouldbeON.
Push the “Test” button of the GFCI receptacle.LightshouldgoOFF.
Push the “Reset” button again. Light shouldgoON.
A light plugged into the GFCI receptacle shouldgooutwhenthetestbuttonispushed. If the light remains on when the button is pushed,eithertheGFCIisnotworkingproperlyorhasnotbeencorrectlyinstalled.Ifthe “RESET” button pops out but the light does notgoout,theGFCIhasbeendamagedorwas improperly wired and does not offer shock protectionatthatwalloutlet.Contactaqualiiedelectriciantocorrectanywiringerrorsor replacedefectiveGFCIs.
If you have a home without GFCIs, consultaqualiied,licensedelectricianabout addingthisimportantprotection,orpurchaseplug-inunitsoraportableGFCIto provideindividualreceptacleorloadprotection.
New Protection—Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) Newer arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) can help prevent ires that often result from problems at the outlets, switches and frayed and cracked cords connected to the circuits. TheAFCIsensestheparticularsignatureofan arc—whereelectricityhastojumpthroughan insulating medium—and, like the GFCI, acts immediatelytoshutoffthecircuit,thusreducingtheriskofireassociatedwitharcingfaults. AFCIs are currently required by the National Electrical Code® in new construction inallbedroomcircuits,butshouldbeconsideredinallhomesandallgeneralpurposereceptacles.Consultaqualiied,licensedelectriciantodetermineifyourhomeiscompatible withAFCIprotection.
Other technology Overtheyears,wehavebeguntosafetyengineer our electrical products to include some ofthesametechnologythathasbeenapplied to our electrical systems. Immersion detection circuit interrupters (IDCIs) and appliance leakage current interrupters (ALCIs) are typically found on hair dryer and speciic appliance cords. They operate in slightly different ways but perform essentially the same function.Leakagecurrentdetectioninterrupters (LCDIs) are protective devices that help prevent ires due to damage to cords. They arepresentlybeingbuiltintotheplugcapof roomairconditioners.Ifthecordisdamaged, theLCDIcircuitrydetectsanabnormalcondition and immediately shuts off power. LCDI technologyisalsoavailableinselectextension cordsandpowerstrips.
Batteries When used correctly, batteries provide a safe anddependablesourceofpower.However,if theyaremisusedorabused,overheating,leakage,orinextremecasesexplosionorire,can occur.Followthesesafetyprincipleswhenusingbatteries: Alwaysfollowwarningsandmanufacturersinstructionsforboththebatteriesand the battery-operated product. Use only thecorrecttypeandsizebatteryindicated.
Checkthecontactsofboththebatteryand the battery-operated product for cleanliness. Always insert the batteries correctly with regardtopolarity(-/+),matchingthepositiveandnegativesymbolsofbothbattery andproduct.Puttingtheminbackwards, the product will sometimes still operate, butmayinadvertentlychargethebatteries resultinginventingorleaking.
Remove and safely dispose of exhausted batteriesimmediately. Replace all batteries in battery-operated products at the same time and with the batteries of the same type and manufacture. Do not short circuit batteries. When the positive(+)andnegative(-)terminalsofa batteryareincontactwitheachother,the battery can become short circuited. For example,loosebatteriesinapocketwith
keysorcoinscanbeshortcircuitedpossiblyresultinginventingorexplosion. Donotheatbatteries. Donotcrush,puncture,dismantleorotherwisedamagebatteries. Donotchargenon-rechargeablebatteries. Keepbatteriesoutofreachofsmallchildren. Congratulations! You’ve just completed a thoroughelectricalsafetycheckofyourhome. Thefewminutesyoutooktocheckyourhome usingthisbookletcouldpreventasafetyhazardandsavealife.
Ampere (amps)—A measure of electrical currentlow. Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI)—Provides protectionfromirescausedbyeffectsofelectrical arcing in wiring. An AFCI device will de-energize the circuit when an arc fault is detected. Circuit—The path (usually wire) through whichcurrentlowsbetweenanelectricalenergysourceandanelectricaldevice,appliance orixture. Circuit breaker or Fuses—Protectagainstovercurrentandshortcircuitconditionsthatcould result in potential ire hazards by opening a circuitpathincaseofanovercurrent. Electrical faults—Apartialortotalfailureinan electricalconductororappliance. Energized—Electricallyconnectedtoasource ofpotentialdifference,orelectricallycharged soastohaveapotentialdifferentfromthatof theground. Gauge—Standardorscaleofmeasureforcircuitconductors. Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)—Providesthebestavailableprotectionagainstsevere shock and electrocution. A GFCI device
willde-energizeacircuitwhenitsensesadifference in the amount of electricity passing throughthedeviceandreturningthroughthe device,ora“leak”ofcurrentfromthecircuit. Grounded/grounding—A conducting connection, whether intentional or accidental, by which an electric circuit or equipment is connected to the earth, or to some conducting body of relatively large extent that serves inplaceoftheearth. Overcurrent—Any current in excess of the ratedcurrentorampacityofaconductor.May resultinriskofireorshockfrominsulation damaged from heat generated by overcurrent condition. Outlet—Acontactdeviceinstalledalongacircuitfortheconnectionofanattachmentplug andlexiblecordtosupplypowertoportable equipment and electrical appliances. Also knownasreceptacles. Three-pronged plugs and outlets—Grounded appliancesandoutlets(unlessmarkedotherwise)haveathirdsocketorprong.Thethird wire,orgroundingconductor,providesapath fromtheframeorhousingofgroundedelectricalappliancesbacktothecircuitbreakerpanel topermitcurrentlowineventofanelectrical faultintheequipment.Whenagroundfault occurs,thecircuitbreakercantriptoremove
energy from the faulty equipment but does not respond quickly enough to prevent the riskofsevereshock. Short circuit—Anabnormalelectricalpath. Voltage (volts)—A measure of electrical potential Wattage (watts)—Ameasureofpowerorthe rate of energy consumption by an electrical device when it is in operation, calculated by multiplyingthevoltageatwhichanappliance operatesbythecurrentitdraws(Watts=Volts XAmperes).
ELECTRICAL SAFETY FOUNDATION INTERNATIONAL TheElectricalSafetyFoundationInternational (ESFI) is a not-for-proit 501(c)(3) organization whose Board of Directors and oficers servewithoutcompensation. The Board of Directors includes representativesinseniormanagementfromthefollowingorganizations: Connector Manufacturing Company Cooper Bussman CSA Group Eaton/Cutler-Hammer Edison Electric Institute E.I. DuPont Company Emerson General Cable Graybar International Association of Electrical Inspectors International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Intertek Testing Services Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc. National Consumers League National Electrical Contractors Association National Electrical Manufacturers Association National Fire Protection Association National Safety Council Siemens Square D Underwriters Laboratories Inc. U.S.D.A. Extension Service Western Kentucky University
“LIGHT A BEACON FOR SAFETY” CAMPAIGN
The ESFI Board established the ESFI Safety AwarenessFundthroughthe“LightaBeacon forSafety”Campaigntosecureinancialsupporttoimplementnewelectricalsafetyeducation and awareness initiatives. We salute the followingcompaniesfortheirleadershipand support: Platinum Beacon Sponsors $500,000 or greater Square D Company Gold Beacon Sponsors $250,000 or greater Eaton/Cutler-Hammer GE Industrial Systems Rockwell Automation Silver Beacon Sponsors $100,000 or greater ABB Power T & D Company, Inc. Advance Transformer Company Cooper Industries, Inc. CSA International Emerson Electric Company Hubbell, Inc. Intertek Testing Company Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. Lithonia Lighting NECA-IBEW NLMCC Siemens Corporation Thomas & Betts Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
Bronze Beacon $50,000 or greater Edison Electric Institute General Cable Graybar Electric Company Pass & Seymour/Legrand Copper Beacon $25,000 or greater Connector Manufacturing Company Electrical Contracting Foundation FCI USA, Inc. Genlyte Thomas Group, LLC ILSCO Corporation Lutron Electronics Company, Inc. Phelps Dodge Foundation Phoenix Contact, Inc. Robroy Industries, Inc. S & C Electric Company Southwire Company Beacon Contributor up to $25,000 Advanced Protection Technologies Inc. Alcan Cable American Lighting Association L3 Communications Lamson & Sessions MGE UPS Systems, Inc. National Association of Electrical Distributors, Inc.
ANNUAL GIVING FUND CONTRIBUTORS
ESFIisalsogratefulfortheinancialsupport givenin2003–2004bythefollowingcontributorstotheESFIAnnualGivingFund: BENEFACTORS ($25,000 – Greater)
CSA International Underwriters Laboratories Inc. National Electrical Manufacturers Association PATRON ($10,000 - $24,999)
General Electric SPONSORS ($5,000 - $9,999)
Cadet Manufacturing Cooper Industries, Inc. Copper Development Association Eaton/Cutler-Hammer Edison Electric Institute Graybar Foundation Hubbell Incorporated Hypertherm Incorporated Intertek Testing Services Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc. National Electrical Contractors Association National Fire Protection Association Panasonic/Matsushita Electric Corp of America Pass & Seymour/Legrand Siemens Energy & Automation
CONTRIBUTORS (up to $4,999)
Advance Transformer Ameren Services American Public Power Association Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers Cantex Inc. Cleco Corporation Connector Manufacturing Co. FERRAZ-SHAWMUT, Inc. Forest Electric Corp. Hoffman Enclosures Inc. IBEW #1049 IBEW #143 IBEW #252 IBEW #51 IBEW #613 IEEE International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Lincoln Electric Lithonia Lighting LMCC of Chicago Nat’l Electrical Manufacturer Representatives Assoc. National Rural Electric Cooperative Assoc. NECA IBEW #176 NECA IBEW #701 Northern Indiana Public Service Company OSRAM Sylvania Radix Wire Company Regal-Beloit Corporation
S&C Electric Company S&S Electric Company, Inc. Southwire Company Technology Research Corporation The Homac Companies TXU Electric & Gas Warren LMCC WESCO Distribution, Inc. Youngstown Area LMCC
ABOUT ESFI Founded in 1994 through a joint effort between UnderwritersLaboratoriesInc.(UL),theU.S.ConsumerProductSafetyCommission(CPSC)andtheNationalElectricalManufacturersAssociation(NEMA), theElectricalSafetyFoundationInternational(ESFI)is NorthAmerica’sonlynon-proitorganizationdedicatedexclusivelytopromotingelectricalsafetyinthe home, school and workplace. ESFI is a 501(c)(3) organizationfundedbyelectricalmanufacturersand distributors,independenttestinglaboratories,utilities, safetyandconsumergroups,andtradeandlabor associations.ESFIsponsorsNationalElectricalSafety MontheachMay,andengagesinpubliceducation campaigns and proactive media relations to help reducepropertydamage,personalinjuryanddeath duetoelectricalaccidents.TheFoundationdoesnot engageincodeorstandardwritingorlobbyingand doesnotsolicitindividuals.
Electrical Safety Foundation International 1300 N. 17th St., Suite 1847 Rosslyn, VA 22209 Phone: 703-841-3229/Fax: 703-841-3329 E-mail: [email protected] Web: www.electrical-safety.org