JUNO BEACH, Fla., June 10, 2014 -- Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is raising awareness about electrical safety during National Safety Month, which occurs every June. The utility is encouraging its customers to avoid household fires and electrocution by following its top 10 safety tips.
"While electricity powers our lives and connects people, it also can be dangerous," said Manny Miranda, vice president, Power Delivery for FPL. "At FPL, safety is a cornerstone of our commitment to our customers, employees and the communities we serve. We urge customers to stay safe around electrical equipment to avoid tragic and sometimes fatal occurrences."
According to The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Electrical Safety Foundation, each year electrical-related incidents result in more than 41,000 residential fires, claim about 370 lives and cause more than 1,400 injuries. These incidents also cause more than $680 million in property damage annually.
FPL encourages its customers to take the following precautions to stay safe:
1. Inspect your system - Have a licensed electrician inspect your home's electrical system to ensure that it's running properly and meets current electrical codes. Flickering lights, sparks, non-functioning outlets and tripping circuits may indicate a problem.
2. Check cords - Replace or throw away electrical items that have frayed or cracked electric cords.
3. Keep electrical items away from water - Install ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFIs) on outlets near water sources and never use electrical appliances or tools close to water or with wet hands.
4. Plug-in one high-wattage appliance at a time - Plug only one high-wattage appliance - such as a coffee maker, toaster, iron, space heater, etc. - into an outlet at a time to avoid overloading it.
5. Only put electrical plugs into outlets - Teach children to never stick fingers or objects into electrical outlets or appliances with openings such as toasters. Cover or cap outlets you are not using to protect children.
6. Before wiring, turn it off - Turn off the power at the breaker before working on electrical devices or wiring.
7. Stay away from power lines - Keep yourself and anything you are touching more than 10 feet away from neighborhood power lines and at least 35 feet from larger high-voltage lines. This includes ladders, tools to pick fruit or trim trees, kites, metallic balloons and flying toys.
8. Report fallen power lines - Stay away from a power line that has fallen and anything it may be touching. Call 911 and FPL at 1-800-4OUTAGE (800-468-8243) immediately to report it.
9. Call 811 before digging - Call at least two full business days before doing any digging to have underground utilities marked. It's free and it's required by law.
10. Check before using tools outdoors - Are the electrical appliances and tools marked for outdoor use? Make sure they are and avoid using them close to water or in the rain.
"Electrical safety in the home begins with adhering to safe practices and making sure everyone in the household, especially children, have a basic understanding of electrical safety principles. Hiring a qualified, licensed electrician to perform any electrical work in your house is the best way to avoid serious, preventable electrical accidents and to protect your family and home," said Charles Kelly, director of industry human resource issues for Edison Electric Institute.
Additional information, including tools for parents and teachers to educate children about how to stay safe around electricity, is available at FPL.com/safety.
Florida Power & Light CompanyFlorida Power & Light Company is the largest rate-regulated electric utility in Florida and serves the third-largest number of customers of any electric utility in the United States. FPL serves approximately 4.7 million customer accounts and is a leading Florida employer with approximately 8,900 employees as of year-end 2013. FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential bill is the lowest among reporting electric utilities in Florida as of year-end 2013, and based on data available in July 2013, is about 28 percent below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the lowest emissions profiles and one of the leading energy efficiency programs among utilities nationwide. FPL delivered better than 99.98 percent service reliability as of year-end 2013. FPL has earned the national ServiceOne Award for outstanding customer service for an unprecedented 10 consecutive years. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy, Inc.
SOURCE Florida Power & Light Company