Some interesting statistics

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Old 12-22-10, 07:22 AM
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Some interesting statistics

A testament to the safety of residential electricity?

According to the CPSC there are on average 60 residential electrocutions per year (2002-2004). The number is an aggregate of all consumer products associated with residential electricity. What really surprised me is that over the 3 year period studied there were only 8 fatalities associated with household wiring.

The most dangerous? Appliances (19), Lighting equipment (13) and tools (11). Amazing when you consider the number of electrical products used in the home.
 
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Old 12-22-10, 09:43 AM
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That does go up quite a bit if you add in statistics from the NFPA which account for deaths and injuries in fires of electrical origin. However it is fortunate that electrical systems have been made quite safe.
 
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Old 12-22-10, 02:14 PM
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'' However it is fortunate that electrical systems have been made quite safe.''

Have you ever bought one of those 2-wire extension cords with the 3 outlets, a cube adapter, or a plug strip, resi grade outlets, and alot of other things? They ALL are incredibly unsafe, have no retention, high resistance connections, cheaply built, must I go on? Also, alot of people in my area mix them with 3-to-two adapters and appliances?
 
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Old 12-22-10, 03:17 PM
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Those things aren't great, but if the premises electrical system into which they are connected is up-to-code the hazard is greatly reduced. Overcurrent, GFCI and AFCI protection mitigates a lot of the risk posed by those types of devices. Moreover, many of those items do pass UL certification even though they may look flimsy and unsafe they can stand up to at least moderate abuse.

If you want to see "incredibly unsafe" wiring check out Central America or Mexico where they technically follow NEC, but there is little to no code enforcement or consumer protection. It's quite literally anything goes.
 
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Old 12-22-10, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
Those things aren't great, but if the premises electrical system into which they are connected is up-to-code the hazard is greatly reduced. Overcurrent, GFCI and AFCI protection mitigates a lot of the risk posed by those types of devices. Moreover, many of those items do pass UL certification even though they may look flimsy and unsafe they can stand up to at least moderate abuse.
Those things can't even hold in a plug for a string of minilights, and a plug strip was caught smouldering at my grandparents' house. It was only powering an air pump for a fishtank.

Why do you think I use Hubbell connectors?
 
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Old 12-23-10, 07:01 AM
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Cheap often means poor reliability, high failure and short life span but if it has a UL approved stamp I don't worry much about the products safety.

I think products like cheap extension cords and portable electric heaters are inherently safe. The problem with them stems from misuse and abuse.

I was unable to find any data on residential fatalities from fire linked to electrical problems. The CDC lists smoking and candles as the leading causes of the estimated 2500-3000 annual residential fire fatalities.
 
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Old 12-23-10, 09:42 AM
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This report from NFPA implies about 120-125 civilian (non-firefighter) deaths per year as a result of electrical fires:

Originally Posted by NFPA
U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 50,900 reported U.S. home1 structure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction in 2003-2007. These fires resulted in 490 civilian deaths, 1,440 civilian injuries and $1.3 billion in direct property damage.
http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF...lFactSheet.pdf
 
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Old 12-23-10, 10:18 AM
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Considering the number of absolutely bonkers electrical defects I see (for example, several non-GFCI protected outlets over tubs or within showers a year) I'm astounded there are so few deaths compared (for example) to household deaths from falls (around 6,000) or fires (around 3,000).
 
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Old 12-23-10, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Wayne Mitchell View Post
Cheap often means poor reliability, high failure and short life span but if it has a UL approved stamp I don't worry much about the products safety.

I think products like cheap extension cords and portable electric heaters are inherently safe. The problem with them stems from misuse and abuse.
DID you ever take an extension cord APART? I have to use Super 33 to hold the plug for my garland in on a BRAND NEW EXTENSION CORD. I had another one MELT off when plugging in 3 sets of c9's. You call that safe?
 
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Old 12-25-10, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
DID you ever take an extension cord APART? I have to use Super 33 to hold the plug for my garland in on a BRAND NEW EXTENSION CORD. I had another one MELT off when plugging in 3 sets of c9's. You call that safe?
Why would I wish to take an extension cord apart? They are usually molded. I have never, ever had a safetey problem with cheapo holiday wiring. On the other hand, super glueing a faulty plug to get it to stay connected might enter the realm of unsafe due to misuse.

Why do you continue to buy cheap stuff if you consider it so unsafe?
 
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Old 12-26-10, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Wayne Mitchell View Post
Why would I wish to take an extension cord apart? They are usually molded.
They are plastic, with welded joints. You find the weld, insert a screwdriver, and, CRACK! a cheapo revealed!
Originally Posted by Wayne Mitchell View Post
I have never, ever had a safetey problem with cheapo holiday wiring.
I have had lots of problems, and anything that COULD go wrong usually DOES go wrong at my house.

Originally Posted by Wayne Mitchell View Post
On the other hand, super glueing a faulty plug to get it to stay connected might enter the realm of unsafe due to misuse.
It is not superglue, it is electrical tape, and it is to keep the plug in.


Originally Posted by Wayne Mitchell View Post
Why do you continue to buy cheap stuff if you consider it so unsafe?
I didn't buy it, I got a bunch of it for Christmas.
 
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