Safety starts at home

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“Safety starts at home…”, we usually hear this and most of us surely know this, but still we neglect to practice safety, thus suffering the consequences of ignoring it.  Based from the Philippine Statistics Authority, from 2010 to 2013, 30% of house fires are due to faulty electrical wiring installation.  These are due to exposed wiring, defective cables and defective appliances.  Even lightning strikes, which obviously are beyond our control are possible cause of such fire.

Just recently, Schneider Electric Philippines, a global specialist in energy management and automation, conducted the Bahay Safety, Buhay Safety Campaign.  It is an advocacy that enables people the importance of electrical safety at home.  Together with TxtFire Philippines, another safety advocate, they showed preventive measures against fire and personal injuries.  Such measures can be obtained by following simple precautions and also by using the right electrical fittings.

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“It takes very little electricity to cause harm,” said Mr. Jones Lim, Public Safety Director of TxtFire, who was the resource person on safety for the event. “But as with anything, as long as we know how to handle it, electricity can help power our lives with minimal risk.”

On the other hand, TxtFire is a group of volunteers, they are a quick response team whenever there are reported fires within their areas of jurisdiction.  In addition, they are also educating people in different provinces on how to prevent fires.

Resource person Mr. Lim started the launch by giving a slight introduction on common electrical facts, its effects on the human body, the most common ways that we are exposed to electrical damage or injury, and how we can manage them.  Then after, Mr. Erwin Creencia, Retail Sales Director, showed global statistics on electricity-related injuries and fatalities at home.  Based from the data obtained from the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing, 4,000 people get serious electric shocks every year in France where 100 of those incidents are fatal. More data from an independent study from GRESEL, a French voluntary research group, revealed that 40% of the incidents happen to children under 9. In the US, a 2012 study from the University of Oklahoma stated that electrocutions are the 4th most common causes of industry fatalities. Over 3,600 suffer from disabling injuries and 600 people die every year from electrocution.

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“Even in developed countries in Europe, a lot of homes are potentially electrically unsafe,” Creencia said. “But we can prevent the worst from happening.  We just need to know more about how we can better protect our home and of course our family,” he added.

Creencia even added what “Safety at Home” really meant. For Schneider’s Bahay Safety, Buhay Safety campaign, Creencia focused on three key elements: 1) Safety for property, which starts with protection against overloads; 2) Safety for your family, which aims to protect your loved ones against electrocution and other electrical dangers; and 3) Safety for electrical appliances, which protects your expensive devices from malfunctions due to overvoltage.

Schneider Electric has always believed that using the proper equipment is an integral investment to your home and your family.  For each of the three safety elements, Schneider Electric presented a solution for Bahay Safety, Buhay Safety.  First, the Residual Current Devices (RCD), it automatically turns off the current when it senses a short or electric shock, preventing further injury. They also presented miniature circuit breakers (MCB’s), it is used to protect against short circuits and overloads from appliances.  Lastly, the surge protection devices, which mainly protect against over voltage due to inconsistent power currents and also lightning strikes, thus saving your appliances from damage.

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Schneider Electric’s solutions are compliant with the International Electrotechnical Commission or IEC standards.  Electrical installations in buildings that have the IEC 60364 standard include safety protection standards against electric shock, thermal effects, overcurrent, voltage disturbances and electromagnetic disturbances.

“By following a few simple safety protocols such as making sure your electrical wiring are not faulty and damaged, investing in the right equipment and ensuring their proper installation, the risks of electrical fire, damage, injury can be greatly reduced,” Creencia added. “With so much at stake—valuable property and even more so the lives of family members—no cost is too great when it comes to safety,” he concluded.

For more information on Schneider Electric Philippines products, please visit http://www.schneider-electric.com.ph

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