While you enjoy the fresh air, be sure to exercise caution when using outdoor electrical appliances, equipment and tools. Also, steer clear of Mother Nature’s own brand of electricity – lightning.
Keep these outdoor electrical safety tips in mind:
- Have a qualified electrician do all electrical work.
- Use lighting and power tools that have the label of an independent test laboratory and make sure they are made for outdoor use.
- Store your electrical tools indoors.
- Protect outdoor electrical outlets with weatherproof covers and ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).
- Never operate electrical equipment on a wet surface or in the rain.
- Never enter a flooded basement to turn off electricity or for any other reason – call your local fire department.
- Keep electric tools away from children.
- Keep the area around your electric meter and other electrical equipment clear.
- Check lighting and extension cords for damage before using. Replace any damaged cords right away.
- Use extension cords that have the label of an independent testing laboratory and are marked for outdoor use and replace them periodically.
- If you plan to use an electric lawn mower, hedge trimmer, weed eater, etc. be sure to keep the cord behind you and away from blades and moving parts. Be careful not to cut or damage the cord. Tip: sling the cord over your shoulder or loop it in your hand. Cut away from the cord, not towards it.
- Have a professional tree cutting service trim branches that might fall on electric wiring.
- Use a wooden or fiberglass ladder outside and keep it at least 10 feet away from power lines.
- Never touch anyone or anything in contact with a downed wire. Power lines may be live so stay a safe distance away. Report downed wires to authorities right away. If a downed wire is touching your vehicle, stay in your vehicle until help arrives.
Last but not least, a very important reminder: Call “Before You Dig” (8-1-1) before any digging on your property. They will mark where your underground utilities are located. It’s a free service!