Whether you are barbecuing, having a pool party, or doing yard work, it is essential to remember that outdoor electrical safety is a serious concern and should not be overlooked! Unfortunately, thousands of people are injured each year and millions of dollars in property damage are caused by electrical hazards that could have been avoided if precautions had been taken. Making note of the following tips can help protect you, your home, and your family from harm.
Hot Tubs, Spas, and Pools Safety
Swimming in your pool or relaxing in your outdoor hot tub or spa is the perfect way to enjoy the hot summer months! But unfortunately, a safe space can become dangerous quickly if safety measures are not taken surrounding electrical concerns. Be sure to follow these tips to avoid hazards in your hot tub, spa, or pool:
Keep outlets near hot tubs, spas, and pools covered and dry between uses, and be sure never to touch electrical plugs or outlets when wet.
Cords and plugs should be kept from water in hot tubs, pools, or puddles.
If an electrical item falls into the water, ensure you are dry, not in contact with water, and unplug the item immediately or shut off the circuit powering it.
Be sure your hot tub, spa, pool, and outlets near them are protected by a GFCI or ground-fault circuit interrupter.
Use battery-operated devices around water instead of cord-connected devices.
It is best to have an electrician inspect the pool, spa, or hot tub to ensure that all equipment is following both the local codes & National Electrical Code. Finally, stay away from all forms of water during or after a thunderstorm. Water and lightning are a lethal combination!
Gardening and Landscaping Safety
It is crucial that you handle gardening and landscaping situations very carefully, especially if these activities occur near a power line or electrical outlet. Here are some tips to follow to avoid any issues when gardening or landscaping:
Use wooden or fiberglass ladders outdoors because metal ladders conduct electricity.
Never climb with tools in your hands, and be sure to wear safety equipment.
Checking all tools for cord damage, such as cracks or exposed wires, is essential when using power tools in wet locations.
Use tools with insulated grips to avoid the potential of electric shock.
Do not trim trees in dangerous weather conditions.
Landscaping near power lines and electrical outlets can be extremely dangerous, so contacting a professional may be the best option. If you feel your safety is at risk, it may be time to make the call. However, if you choose to continue with the process yourself, be sure to follow the tips outlined above.
Outdoor Outlet and Extension Cord Safety
An estimated 3,300 residential fires originate from extension cords each year. Electrical cord safety precautions are necessary, especially with outdoor outlets. Here are some critical tips to follow to ensure safety around outdoor outlets:
Check that each outlet has a weatherproof cover, and keep it closed when not in use.
Ensure each outlet is powered by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), which turns itself off if it senses a current leak or a short circuit.
A “weatherproof while in use” cover is the best route to follow if you use an outlet during wet weather. It keeps an outlet covered even when a cord is plugged in!
Buy extension cords for outdoor use; indoor cables can’t handle severe weather conditions and may become a fire hazard.
Replace outdoor extension cords every 3-4 years, especially if the cable has experienced any damage.
Because of the implementation of new safety standards, there has been a reduction in electrical hazards that cause death, injury, and property damage. However, good safety habits are still the best prevention against electrical hazards, especially outdoors! If you are experiencing any outdoor electrical questions or concerns, Electric Plus can help! Visit our website or give us a call at 484-459-4940 if you are in need of outdoor services this summer!