Enhancing Electrical Safety through Technology

June 2, 2021

Stop. Look. Live.

Each year, people are injured or killed by accidental contact with electrical equipment, contact that can be avoided if we all stop to think about our safety. If you are unsure whether an activity poses a safety risk, you should:

  • STOP. Stop what you’re doing.
  • LOOK. Look around for potential utility hazards and ways you might come into contact with utility infrastructure, and find a way to avoid the hazard.
  • LIVE. Your safety is in your hands.

Visit www.firstenergycorp.com/publicsafety for more information on how to stay safe around electricity.

Emerging technology helps us reduce exposure to electrical hazards, allowing us to navigate around electricity safely and efficiently. Whether it’s using camera-equipped drones to safely inspect difficult to access facilities or arming utility personnel with new wearable safety devices to provide an extra layer of defense against hidden electrical threats, FirstEnergy continues to use technology to keep its employees safe and efficient when working around electricity.

Technology also can improve electrical safety and efficiency at home. Here are some devices designed for that purpose:

  • Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI): According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission*, more than 40,000 fires are attributed to home electrical wiring each year and arcing faults are one of the major causes. An AFCI is a product designed to prevent fires by disconnecting the circuit when it senses that an electrical arc is about to occur.
  • Smart Home Products: Smart plugs, bulbs, switches and electrical panels can help you manage and monitor your home’s energy efficiency and safety from your phone. With many smart home products, you can receive alerts on your phone when the smart device detects electrical hazards – such as tripped breakers or malfunctioning electrical appliances – and remotely turn off power to prevent further issues.
  • Surge Protective Devices (SPD): An electrical surge is an unexpected, uncontrolled and potentially dangerous spike in voltage on an electrical circuit that can cause expensive damage to your electrical system and devices. SPDs protect against these surges by safely diverting extra power from a surge current.
  • Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI): GFCIs protect against electric shock and are required in areas where water and electricity may come in contact. They work by shutting off electric power in the event of a ground-fault within as little as 1/40 of a second to prevent prolonged electrical shock.
  • Tamper Resistant Receptacles (TRR): TRRs are outlets designed with spring-loaded receptacle cover plates that close off the receptacle openings until equal pressure is simultaneously applied to both openings. TRRs help prevent childhood shock and electrical burn injuries.

To learn more about technology and other tips that can improve your home’s electrical safety and energy efficiency, visit https://www.esfi.org/*.

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