CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Every year, nearly 400 Americans are electrocuted, while nearly 51,000 fires are attributed to electricity. Experts say many of those incidents could be prevented, and that hidden dangers are lurking where you least expect them.
"Things you take for granted you start to forget. Things you see every single day become commonplace, and that's sometimes where you have to be a little more careful," says concerned mom Pam Jaeger.
That's why Dominion Virginia Power is helping Jaeger look for any potential problems. Things like the green electrical box in the backyard; it looks like it could be fun to play on, but it actually houses high voltage... and isn't a toy.
Summer storms are also an issue. Dominion says after the storm, parents should be the first outside.
"After a storm, make sure you go out onto your property and make sure you look for any fallen limbs that could come down, and make sure they haven't touched any power lines," explains Dominion spokesperson Janell Hancock.
Inside the home, there are multiple possibilities for problems. From frayed cords and unprotected, overloaded electrical sockets, to dangers in the kitchen.
"If we can keep appliances with their cord pushed away, that's going to keep little kids from coming into this area and getting into trouble," demonstrates Hancock.
But, it's the bathroom that can be one of the most deadly places in the home.
Says Hancock, "Water and electricity just don't mix and in the morning, there can be a rush to get out the door. It's easy to make a mistake."
For the Jaeger family, communication is key and is the cornerstone to keeping everyone safe. "Be honest with them. If they know they could've gotten hurt, they're not going to want to do it," explains Jaeger.
Kids aren't the only ones that need reminders about electrical safety. Dominion says parents working in the yard can sometimes get themselves in trouble. If you're planning on excavating on your property, by law you're required to contact Miss Utility at VA 811.
To learn more about electrical safety and how to talk to your kids, click here.