WYTHEVILLE, Va. – Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has designated the entire month of May as “Electrical Safety Month.” The designation comes on the heels of an estimated 25,900 residential electrical fires across the nation, last year.

Electrical fires are responsible for over 275 nationwide deaths annually and lead to more than $1.1 billion in total property loss.

In an effort to combat this alarming trend, Chip Dunford, Wythe County building official, has released a series of tips for local residents to follow in order to adhere to electrical safe practices.

Among the tips Dunford listed are encouraging residents to talk to their children about the dangers of playing around power lines and poles.

Other instructions included encouraging residents to inspect extension cords for nicks and cuts, as well as replacing the batteries in smoke detectors on a routine bases.

Dunford says the dangers presented by electricity are very real and warrant everyone’s concern.

“Each year, thousands of electrical accidents occur across the nation. We’re encouraging local residents to take a proactive approach in recognizing the dangers and make appropriate precautions,” stated the veteran building official.

The International Association of Electrical Inspectors, a leading organization in electrical training, also urges homeowners to check the wattage of light bulbs in all light fixtures: “All light fixtures have a label with the maximum rated size wattage bulb required for that light. This also includes table lamps, but especially light fixtures with covers – they hold the heat in.”

Additional information concerning electrical safety may be found at www.iaeivirginia.com.

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