As summer begins in Charleston, many people and families will start spending more time outside. Whether you are attending a BBQ, doing yard work, or swimming in a pool to cool off from the summer heat, it is important to remember that electricity is all around you. We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable summer and that is why we believe that electrical safety should be priority during these activities.
Here are a few backyard electrical safety tips to keep in mind this summer.
- Always keep outdoor outlets covered with weather-protected covers and use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
- Only use extension cords outdoors that are designed and clearly marked “For Outdoor Use.”
- Do not plug one extension cord into another- use the correct length cord.
- Always unplug an extension cord that is not in use.
Electric Garden tools
- Avoid using power tools with cords in wet areas or when it is damp outside. Also, make sure you check the tools for damage in the cords themselves. For example, there may be a cracked or exposed wire that you are unaware of that can lead to shock or even fire.
- Make sure all electric power tools and gardening equipment are stored indoors and always from any source of water.
- Never carry an electrical appliance by the cord or damaged cords or equipment can quickly become a hazard.
- If an electrical appliance or tool falls into the water, do not reach after it. Make sure that you are dry and not in contact with water or metal before unplugging it immediately.
- Never allow kids to climb or play on any electrical equipment, including green transformer boxes. They house potentially dangerous electrical equipment inside.
- Teach your kids that they are never to poke sticks or wires into the enclosures. If for any reason, the kids come across any unlocked or damaged equipment, teach them to tell an adult who should call their local electrical utility company immediately.
- Be aware of power lines around you and always assume that wires are “live and dangerous.” Never touch an outdoor wire with any part of your body, toys or other objects.
Pools & Hot Tub
- If you own a pool or hot tub, it’s important to have it inspected by a professional electrician. It is important to upgrade protection to lights, receptacles and switches with GFCIs to avoid the danger of serious injury and even death as a result of electrocution from faulty underwater lighting or electrical wiring in pools and hot tubs.
- Always keep grilling areas on a noncombustible floor surface and at least 10 feet away from any residential building.
- Electric grills can be safer, but they can still cause burns and heat damage to buildings. They should not be used in wet conditions, and they should always be plugged into an electrical outlet that provides ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection with cords that are in good condition.
- Make sure to keep the flying footballs and floating frisbees away from the cooking area.
Summer DIY Projects
- Remember that attempting to repair an electrical system without proper knowledge can be dangerous, even deadly. In order to avoid an electrical emergency, please contact a licensed electrical contractor versus risking a DIY disaster.