With the first day of spring comes big plans. Diving into another lawn care season, gearing up for barbecues and outdoor parties, and planning springtime renovations all come with the excitement of the changing seasons – but also some specific electrical hazards and risks. Here are a few great electrical safety tips to keep in mind this spring to help keep you and your family safe.
1. Be Aware of Utility Lines
The might be above you, or they might be below. Whether you’re cleaning the gutters, installing a satellite dish, or digging a trench for hedges, always be aware of utility lines. Ladders can conduct electricity, and striking an underground power line could be deadly. If in doubt, call 811 before you start any digging.
2. Use Outdoor Generators Safely
Springtime brings a new season of camping, outdoor events, and parties in the park. A portable generator is a great way to supercharge the fun outdoors, but it’s essential to use these tools safely to avoid potentially life-threatening hazards.
Never power a portable generator indoors, never allow children to play near the generator, and always be very aware of any wet or damp areas when setting up a portable generator and any appliances it may power. Never connect a portable generator directly to your home’s circuit.
3. Keep Corded Appliances Away from Water
When the warm weather arrives, it’s also a great time to start catching up on outdoor projects, renovations, and lawn care; but in many regions, it’s also a very rainy season. Always be extra aware of cords to ensure they’re not crossing any puddles or damp areas of grass. When working outside, use only heavy, outdoor-graded extension cords and appliances rated for outdoors. Remember to store all tools indoors when you’re finished.
4. Teach Children About Outdoor Electrical Safety
Kids should learn from an early age never to grab onto a cord with wet hands from the pool, or to climb trees or fly a kite near power lines. Warm weather brings lots of fun activities for kids, so keep them safe with a little electrical safety education.
5. Inspect Last Season’s Appliances Before Powering Up
It’s probably been a while since you plugged in the electric grill, pulled out the hanging electric lanterns, or switched on the electric trimmer. Thoroughly inspect these appliances to ensure that they’re still in good condition: cords shouldn’t be worn or damaged, these appliances should be perfectly dry, and there should be no signs of moisture such as mold. Only plug these appliances into a weatherproof outdoor electrical outlet.
By spending just a little extra energy to ensure all your springtime activities are electrically safe, you’ll be doing a big favor to your family, your home, and your neighbors.