Electrical Safety

February 2018 Safety Topic

general electric voltage meter

Photo Credit: Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

Many electrocutions and fires can be prevented simply by understanding basic electrical safety principles and adhering to safe practices. According to the National Fire Protection Association, each year almost 50,000 fires inside buildings in the U.S. are caused by electrical failures or malfunctions, causing hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries, and billions of dollars in damage. In fact, each year roughly 3,300 fires inside buildings originate from the improper use of extension cords.

CUMC employees can apply these essential safety electrical safety tips in the workplace and at home:

Outlet Safety

  • All major electrical equipment should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet. Never use extension cords or multi-outlet converters for major electrical equipment.
  • For electrical equipment that produce heat, only plug one heat-one device into a receptacle outlet at a time.
  • Check outlets for loose connections and corrosion. Report to Facilities (212-305-HELP, option 3) immediately if there is a problem.

Extension Cord Safety

  • Don’t plug extension cords into one another.
  • Make sure extension cords are properly rated for their intended use, indoor or outdoor, and meet or exceed the power needs of the device being used.
  • Keep all outdoor extension cords clear of snow and standing water.
  • Do not overload extension cords.

For more information or questions about electrical safety, please speak with your supervisor or contact a member of the Campus Life Safety and Regulatory Compliance team.