8 Tips for Outdoor Electrical Safety
Summer is here!
The days are longer, and most people spend more time outside than inside. From lawn work to home maintenance to leisure and entertainment, there are a number of outdoor activities that require the use of electricity. We are sharing electrical safety tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable summer.
It is common to take electricity for granted, so the number of electric tools and equipment we have is often underestimated. For lawn and outdoor maintenance, most homeowners have a plethora of tools to make the tasks much easier, and many are shocked at the number of electric lawn tools they own when we present their inventory of the contents of their garage. The normal list consists of:
- lawn trimmer
- lawn edger
- hedge clipper
- lawn mower
Often there are two or three trimmers, clippers, and blowers! So, the lawn work is done. Are you ready to wash the car? Bring out the vacuum (electric, of course) so your car, van, or truck is clean inside as well as out.
Outdoor repair and maintenance
You might have large projects planned for this summer such as building a deck, pergola, bar, or other outdoor leisure area. If not building something new, there are possibly some repair and/or maintenance items on your to-do list. If so, you’ll most likely need one or more of the following electric tools:
- chain, circular, jig, and miter saws
- nail gun
- screw gun
Now that the projects are completed, it is time to enjoy the outdoors! You’ll probably listen to a radio with outdoor speakers or watch television on the deck or in your screened-in porch. As the afternoon turns into evening, your outdoor lighting and heater offer some ambiance.
All of this – the work and the leisure – brought to you by electricity!
8 Tips for outdoor electrical safety
Enjoy your summer, and make it a safe one by adhering to these tips from the National Fire Protection Association and Duke Energy.
- Hire a qualified electrician to do all electrical work.
- Be sure all outside outlets are Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs), and have protective covers.
- Use only extension cords, lights, and power tools that are made for outdoor use and have the label of an independent test laboratory.
- Store your electrical tools indoors.
- Check lighting and extension cords for damage before using, and replace any damaged cords right away.
- Be aware of your surroundings; look for overhead power lines before trimming tree branches or tall shrubs. Use a fiberglass or wood ladder.
- It is best to hire a professional tree cutting service to trim branches that might fall on electric wiring.
- Power lines may be buried. Before digging, call your electric company to have utility lines marked.
Even with these precautions, accidents can happen. Never touch anyone or anything in contact with a downed wire. Power lines may be live, so stay a safe distance away and report downed wires to authorities right away. Shocks and/or burns can result from exposure to electricity, which can result in severe injury or death. Seek medical attention immediately.
Take a few minutes to revisit your list of all the outdoor electrical items you own. You most likely purchased new ones over the past couple of years, or even recently. Check your home inventory list to make sure all items are listed.
These electrical precautions can help ensure a safe, fun summer. Reviewing and updating your home inventory (or creating one) is time well spent to ensure your outdoor tools and equipment are documented. You can relax, knowing you’ll be able to prove and replace all of these items if you have a loss from fire, theft, or a natural disaster.
If you prefer, we’ll create your inventory for you while you lay in the hammock, on your new deck, listening to your favorite music!
Enjoy the outdoors!