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May Is Electrical Safety Month!

Your Kids Will Get A Charge Out of This!

My husband Cliff is a Realtor on the San Francisco Peninsula and publishes a newsletter with helpful tips for home owners. His most recent newsletter explains that May is National Electrical Safety Month – and offers this for families:

Home Electronic Safety Tips

We tend to forget how dangerous electricity can be – without the proper safety precautions it can cause fires, injuries, and even death. Now is an excellent time to review basic safety practices that can help you protect your home and family from electrical-related disasters.

  • Check for and professionally replace outlets and switches that have damaged or missing parts or that are hot to the touch.
  • Test circuit breaker operation. If using fuses, confirm the amp rating is correct for the circuit.
  • Watch out for counterfeit electrical products which might be unsafe. Look for a certification mark like Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Also stay informed with email alerts on dangerous product recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ( ).
  • Reduce fire and shock hazards by replacing worn or damaged electrical cords. And avoid running cords beneath carpet or near moisture.
  • Be careful not to overload outlets or power strips. Doing so could create a fire risk.
  • Have a professional install ground fault circuit interrupters in areas near water sources. If already installed, test GFCIs monthly and after electrical storms.
  • Limit the use of extension cords and ensure they can handle the total wattage of appliances powered. When outdoors, only use cords rated for outdoor use.
  • Inspect computer equipment for damage to wiring or plugs and use surge protectors.
  • To prevent overheating and a possible fire, ensure that bulbs in lamps and light fixtures do not exceed the recommended wattage.
  • Have a professional electrical safety inspection performed at least every 10 years and conduct your own visual inspection annually.

Keep your family safe. And remember, unless you are knowledgeable about electricity, consult a professional for all electrical needs.

Extend The Learning for Homeschoolers…

As I went over the list I realized it provides tons of learning opportunities for homeschoolers. You could read this list around the dinner table tonight and talk about what each item means. After dinner go through the house and look for all of the items mentioned including:

  • Where the fuse box and circuit breakers are located.
  • How to inspect your power and extension cords for wear or damage.
  • Show the kids what a surge protector for your computer looks like.
  • Examine a variety of light bulbs, where the wattage is printed on the bulb, and let the kids help check all of the lamp and light fixtures in the house to make sure you’re using bulbs with the correct wattage for each fixture.
  • Show them how to safely change or replace a light bulb, and how to safely dispose of used or damaged light bulbs.
  • Show them any outdoor electrical outlets you have.
  • Show them where your electrical meter is located and how to read it.
  • Show them the electrical bill – and show them how you pay it.

To incorporate math, have the kids count the switch plates and electrical outlets throughout the house – or count all of the light bulbs.

Check out these lessons and interactives for kids about electrical safety.

The UK also has a terrific educational website on electricity.

Of course, any discussion about electricity leads to <% Response.Write AmazonAd( Array( "0448437651", "Thomas Edison", 0 ) ) %>. PBS has a great site about Edison that your family will enjoy.

You’ll find a neat electricity booklet online that explains many basic concepts to kids.

Here’s a printable activity guide that explains how to read the meter and the difference between incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs.

Get TONS of info on electricity for kids from the Energy Information Administration with fun facts, games, history, famous inventors, classroom activities and more.

Have fun!

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