Facts and Statistics
- The U.S. home improvement market nearly doubled in size between 1995 and 2005 to $280 billion a year, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.
- Over the same period of time, emergency rooms reported ever increasing numbers of visits due to injuries from home workshop equipment. Many of these homeowners were critically injured while attempting to perform home electrical work themselves.
- The most recent data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that there are nearly 400 electrocutions in the United States each year.
- Approximately 15 percent of electrocutions are related to consumer products. Wiring hazards, including damaged or exposed wiring and household wiring, accounted for nearly 14 percent of these deaths.
- Electrical outlets cause nearly 4,000 injuries every year.
- Electrical failure accounted for 89 percent of electrical fires in residential buildings from 2003-2005.
- Each year, more than 19,700 people are injured by ceiling fans that are improperly mounted or incorrectly sized.
- Make an effort to learn about your home electrical system so that you can safely navigate and maintain it.
- Never attempt a project that is beyond your skill level. Knowing when to call a professional may help prevent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities.
- Always turn off the power to the circuit that you plan to work on by switching off the circuit breaker in the main service panel.
- Be sure to unplug any lamp or appliance before working on it.
- Test the wires before you touch them to make sure that the power has been turned off.
- Never touch plumbing or gas pipes when performing a do-it-yourself electrical project.
This article is courtesy of Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI)