National Electrical Safety Month | 11 Safety Tips for Institutions

National Electrical Safety Month | 11 Safety Tips for Institutions

May is observed as National Electrical Safety Month by the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI). This nonprofit organization is dedicated to promoting electrical safety in our homes, institutions, workplaces, and communities.

With an increased number of students learning in remote settings and faculty and staff working remotely this past year, it's important that everyone is aware of the safety measures that come with this increasing amount of electrical usage.

Hazardous Incidents on Campus

Electrical incidents are just one of the many hazardous incidents that can occur on campus, including weather-related incidents (hurricanes or tornadoes), crime-related incidents (burglaries and assaults), etc. Here are a few statistics to better understand hazardous incidents on campus:

Utilize NESM to Encourage Better Safety Practices on Campus

As we recognize National Electrical Safety Month, it is important to acknowledge that electrical usage has become a major aspect of our lives, especially with students. Students use electronics for learning, working, and socializing, which has increased even more throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. That being said, these helpful devices can become major risks when used improperly and can lead to electrical hazards.

Here are a few safety tips (provided by SafeElectricity.org) to prevent electrical accidents and fires while living on campus:

  • Do not overload extension cords, power strips, or outlets.
  • Use power strips with overcurrent protectors. This will shut the power off automatically if there is too much current being drawn.
  • Watch out for outlets that get too hot to touch. If an electrical outlet becomes so hot you cannot leave your hand on it, there is potential for a fire. Unplug everything from the outlet and notify landlord or dorm officials immediately.
  • Extension cords are for temporary situations only. Extension cords should not be used as a long-term solution when you need another outlet.
  • Do not staple extension cords.You might damage the insulation meant to protect you from current and potentially expose a wire that increases the possibility of sparking.
  • Look for the UL Mark on any electrical product you use. The UL Mark tells you that your appliance, cord, or device has met Underwriter’s Laboratories rigorous safety requirements.
  • Never remove a grounding pin. If you remove the pin in order to plug a three pronged plug into a wall outlet, you are removing the protection meant to keep you safe and can expose you to a tremendous shock hazard.
  • If you are lighting with halogen lamps, make sure they meet updated requirements. All halogen lamps must be designed with a mesh guard that forbids contact with the bulb and an automatic tip-over switch.
  • If your student is in a location where he or she will be doing some cooking, look for UL-Listed appliances that feature automatic shut-off buttons. This means they will lessen the chance of leaving something brewing or cooking all day.
  • Never plug more than one high-wattage appliance into a single outlet. Make sure the appliance cords aren’t frayed or cracked. If they are, get them repaired by a professional.
  • Have a UL-Listed fire extinguisher in the dorm room or apartment and know how to use it.

So, how does an institution promote electrical safety tips and/or preventative strategies? Here are a few creative ways:

  • Post on your institution's social media.
  • Provide safety guidelines to students prior to moving in and require them to read and acknowledge your policies and procedures.
  • Promote electrical safety through shared gathering spaces, such as dormitories, classrooms, etc.
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You can download copies of these PDFs and learn more about Electrical Safety Month from the ESFI organization's website: here

In addition, colleges and universities have found that Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Platforms can better help them increase campus safety, manage and trend safety data, reduce risk, and ensure compliance. Here are the benefits:

  • Allows campus leadership to better communicate with their campus community when a hazardous incident has occurred.
  • Empowers community members to report safety concerns around campus to leadership, so they can be investigated and mitigated quickly. (Oftentimes, community members know what’s happening on campus before campus leadership does.)
  • Provides leadership with ways to identify risk trends and areas on campus that can be flagged for further review and improvement.

Lastly, EHS Platforms can be used to report incidents related to weather, crimes, accidents, construction, and much more. 

How Vector Solutions Can Help Your College or University

Vector Solutions wants to help your institution increase campus safety with our Vector EHS Platform, which can help you efficiently manage and trend safety data, reduce risk, and ensure compliance. Vector EHS can help you better manage the following activities:

  • Incident Management - Easily Report Incidents, Manage Investigations, and Identify Risk Areas
  • Hazards - Improve Hazard Monitoring and Communication, Conduct Risk Assessments, and Empower Campus Members to Report
  • Inspections - Administer Inspections Through Our Mobile App, Schedule Recurring Inspections, and Review Audits
  • Claims - Generate Forms for Multiple Types of Claims, Manage Claims, and Analyze Claim Data
  • Corrective Actions - Designate Corrective Actions, Build Corrective Plans, and Better Manage Urgency

Do you want to learn more about Vector EHS?

Watch our on-demand webinar “EHS Management Solutions to Help Campuses Reduce Risk and Improve Safety and Compliance” webinar with experts, Clare Epstein and Scott Stone.

Learn about some of the most common safety data sets that institutions can use to measure their safety performance and how our Vector EHS Management Platform can be used to manage safety activities to reduce risk and improve compliance and safety.

This webinar covers how institutions can monitor:

  • Incidents and Claim Costs
  • Inspections
  • Corrective Actions
  • Hazards
  • Safety Key Performance Indicators
  • And More
EHS management software and offline mobile app

Contact us for more information