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Electricity Safety and IDT Energy

IDT Energy believes that by following a few simple rules, a potential hazard for fire and shock can be made perfectly safe.

•    Replacement of damaged outlets should be done promptly by a qualified electrician. Any outlet that feels hot, is emitting sparks, has loose fitting plugs, or in which the plugged in lamp or other appliance turns off and on or fails to light can be considered damaged and should be replaced.

•    Never pull out an electrical cord at an angle. This could cause the plastic face of the outlet to crack, break away, and leave live parts of the outlet dangerously exposed.

•    Plastic, child-proof safety caps should be inserted into unused outlets so children cannot insert anything into the receptacle.

•    Plugs should always be completely inserted into the outlet. Never let any part of the metal prongs be exposed.

IDT Energy wishes you a safe year of electricity use.

IDT Energy hopes consumers begin the new school year with increased awareness of electric safety precautions that are simple to follow and could really prevent dangerous accidents.

Damaged or problematic electrical receptacles should be replaced by a qualified person. It is also a good idea to upgrade home electrical systems to the most modern safety standards.

Preventing electrocution is a simple matter of installing ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs.) This is the most effective way to prevent electric shock. A second method is to install three pronged outlets. Before switching to this type of outlet you need to check that there is a grounding conductor in the outlet box.

Outlets can become overheated, even with nothing in them, if they have poor internal contacts or loose wire terminals. In such a case the outlet can even emit sparks. One way to preserve your outlets is to be sure the appliance is turned off before you unplug it from the outlet.

Proceed With Caution: Watch Out for Outlets

In our continuing discussion of electrical outlet safety awareness IDT Energy is taking this opportunity to point out potential hazards at electrical outlets so that consumers can take the actions necessary to prevent accidents.

Intense and dangerous electrical arcing can result from broken faceplates on the outlet. In one case a woman received severe burns when she plugged in a floor lamp into and outlet whose plastic faceplate was broken, allowing the prongs of the plug to bridge from the contacts to the grounded strap.

When an outlet is used with appliances that are frequently plugged and unplugged repeatedly, such as kitchen appliances that are stored away when not in use, like mixers, beaters, juicers, and food processors, the outlet can deteriorate and become hazardous. The plug may begin to fit loosely into the outlet causing the plug to slip out of the outlet either partially or completely with just slight movement of the cord.  This situation is a fire hazard, and if there is a curtain or other fabric close by, the danger is even greater.

Danger at the Outlet

Now that summer is over and the kids are back to school, IDT Energy wants parents to be aware of the basic safety rules when using electricity, electrical appliances and electric outlets.

A particular point of interest as far as safety is concerned is electrical outlets. These amazing household objects bring essential electricity into our homes, and make modern life possible.

We should never take for granted the potential for harm these simple receptacles present. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 3,900 injuries a year which required hospital emergency room visits are connected to the use of electrical outlets.

The most common accident is caused when a child puts a small metal object, such as a pin, key, or something else, into the outlet. As a result the child receives a burn or electric shock to his hand or finger. These types of accidents account for about one third of mishaps with outlets.
Fires can also begin at the electric receptacle. The CPSC says that there are about 5,300 fires in which electrical outlets play a role. As a result of these fires each year about 40 people die and about 110 people are injured.