It's back to school time again and a great opportunity to discuss safety with your children. No matter what their age, it is imperative that they know the risks associated with electricity and how to stay safe.
Over 30,000 non-fatal shock accidents occur each year. On average, hospital emergency rooms treat seven children every day for electrical shock or burn injuries caused by wall outlet injuries and 4,000 per year related to electrical extension cord injuries.
- Make sure you have dry hands before plugging anything into an electrical outlet. Pay extra attention in science labs, since lab spaces often have wet surfaces and are around or even contain electrical outlets.
- Keep your clothes, books or other flammable material away from heating sources, ovens or stoves.
- Don't overload your outlets or power strips. Power strips can be very useful with all of our modern devices, but misuse can lead to serious injury. Make sure to use them according to their rating, and always try to place them where they are not a trip hazard.
At home or in the dorm:
- Install a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) in areas of your home where there is greater risk of shock because of water, such as the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room.
- Never use your cell phone when it is plugged in, if you are in or around water.
- Choose a power strip with a heavy cord. Only use a power strip that is UL-certified and has the appropriate electrical rating for the device you intend to use it with.
- Do not use frayed or damaged extension cords.
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Out and about:
- Never climb on or play around electrical boxes or power lines.
- Do not approach a downed power line -- always assume it is "live." Stay far away and call DP&L customer service at 800-433-8500, or dial 9-1-1 if you are in immediate danger.
- When in or near a swimming pool, stay away from any electrical device that is being charged, such as a laptop, cell phone, tablet and the like.