Summer is so close, we can already feel the heat! And with all the time that you and your family will spend outside playing, grilling and swimming, it seems like a perfect time to talk about hidden outdoor electrical dangers to keep your family out of harms way.
Power and Utility Lines
Many backyards are equipped with low hanging power lines but no matter what the situation may be, we continue to say don’t go near them. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, you could be at risk from a high-voltage electrical shock if you are within 10 feet from power cords and their connections.
If you’re trimming your tree, be especially wary of your ladder- metal ladders conduct electricity! Be sure to also wear proper safety equipment and use insulated tools when possible.
Don’t see any power lines in your backyard? They could be underground, making it highly dangerous to dig or install landscaping without knowing what your tools are hitting. We recommend calling 811 to “know what’s below” and have a local underground utility crew mark underground lines so you can avoid contact when digging.
Outlets, Cords, and Tools
Outlets- All of your outdoor outlets (including in your garage) should not only be Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) but should also have a weatherproof protecting cover which should be closed when the outlet is not in use. Any outlet should be dry when in use, and any connections to an electrical tool or appliance should be tight to protect from outdoor conditions. Replace any outlet or cover if damaged or worn.
Cords- There’s no doubt you’ll could be heavily using extension cords outdoor this summer. Just remember that extension cords are to be used temporarily. Only use extension cords that are rated for outdoor use- these heavy-gauge cords can handle the outdoors, however you should still keep these away from standing water. There are also different wattages for different extension cords as well so make sure you’re consistently checking wattage. Inspect your cords regularly for damage and toss it if you find anything. It’s best to unplug cords from their GFCI outlet when they aren’t in use.
Tools- Electrical saws, leaf blowers, weed-whackers, and any electrical tool should have insulated grips and be used away from live wires or wet weather conditions. Regularly inspect your tools for cord damage as well.
Things to Check:
- Make sure your outdoor lighting of choice is designed for outdoor use and are away from flammable outdoor items like leaves.
- Have an electrician check your air conditioning unit to make sure that it is up to local codes and is in a safe working condition.
- Check that your meter is clear from any obstruction and hasn’t been tampered with.
- Pools should be at least 10 feet away from any electrical devices and all electrical equipment used for swimming pools should be grounded.
Mister Sparky wants to protect your family this summer. Call any of our electricians today at (281) 907-8418 to check your outdoor outlets and appliances to make sure they’re up to code. Stay safe and have fun, Houston!
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Our technicians understand the value of being neat and considerate while working in your personal space, which is reflected in how we leave your home after solving eletrical issues.
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