Insights and resources for employers and professionals.

National Electrical Safety Month

According to Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) President Brett Brenner, “Electrical accidents that occur in an office environment are usually a result of faulty or defective equipment, unsafe installation, or misuse of equipment – specifically, extension cords, power strips, and surge protectors.”

Common electrical hazards found in office environments:
  • Overloaded outlets

  • Unsafe/non-approved equipment

  • Improper placement of electrical cords

  • Live parts unguarded, such as broken/loose outlet plates

  • Pulling of plugs to shut off power

  • Blocking electrical panel doors

Tips to protect against electrical incidents at the office:
  • Even when using a surge protector, make sure the electrical load is not too much for the circuit.

  • Avoid overloading outlets with too many appliances. Never plug in more than one high-wattage appliance at a time!

  • Electrical appliances can be fire hazards! Be sure to turn off all appliances at the end of the day.

  • Inspect electrical cords once a month to ensure they are not frayed, cracked or otherwise damaged.

  • Inspect all covers on light switches and outlets, and have any damaged covers replaced by a qualified person.

  • Do not run electrical cords through high-traffic areas, under carpets or across doorways.

  • Consider having a licensed electrician install additional outlets where needed, rather than relying on extension cords and power strips.

  • Ensure all electrical equipment is certified by a nationally recognized laboratory and read all manufacturers’ instructions carefully.

  • Maintain at least 3 feet of clearance in front of all electrical panels.

Remember, safety begins with you!