Power for Progress…

A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority

Celebrating National Electric Safety Month


For several years, GRDA linemen have been using this mobile power line display to teach students the importance of staying away from overhead power line outdoors. During May, GRDA is also proud to support the efforts of the EFSI as it promotes electric safety and education inside the home.

May is National Electric Safety Month, and the Grand River Dam Authority is proud to join organizations like the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) in increasing public awareness of electrical hazards.

Did you know that, in the United States, home electrical failures or malfunctions cause more than 50,000 fires each year? Unfortunately, those fires also lead to 450 deaths, nearly 1,500 injuries, and over $1.5 billion in property damage annually, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). To help prevent electrical fires and incidents, it is vital that the public know some ins and outs of their electrical system and understand the safety concerns associated with the latest residential technologies before bringing them into their homes. During National Electric Safety Month, the EFSI, and GRDA, are committed to helping provide that education.

For instance, why is there a different kind of outlet in the bathroom? What does that TEST button do? What’s the difference between a power strip and a surge protector?

If you’re like most people, you may not be able to answer all these questions. However, education is available and can help make your home safer. ESFI offers Electrical Challenge Worksheets on their website, www.esfi.org that will help you determine the electrical safety of your home. Start by answering a simple yes or no to a variety of questions about your kitchen, family room, bedroom and basement:

Y  N Are the refrigerator coils free of dirt buildup that reduces efficiency and creates a fire hazard?
Y  N Have you tested your ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) this month?
Y  N Do you leave your appliances plugged in when you’re not using them?
Y  N Are you using an extension cord as a permanent power solution?
Y  N Is your home equipped with tamper resistant receptacles (TRRs) to reduce the risk of electric shock injuries to children?
Y  N Is your surge protector plugged directly into a three-prong grounded outlet?
Y  N Have you tested your smoke alarms this month?
Y  N Do you know the recommended bulb wattages for your light fixtures?
Y  N Does your ceiling fan have a wobble?
Electrical safety awareness and education among consumers, families, employees, and communities can help pre­vent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities. Visit ESFI’s website for more information. The ESFI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting electrical safety at home and in the workplace.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Directly or indirectly, GRDA’s low-cost, reliable; electricity serves nearly 500,000 homes in Oklahoma and stretches into 75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years.

      – Shannon Cook
      GRDA Corporate Communications Specialist