As the days get warmer and longer, people head outdoors to enjoy the nice weather. As you stroll around the yard and the neighborhood, it’s a good idea to keep an eye peeled for changes that may present new hazards and remind yourself of safety tips regarding the electrical systems that are present all around us.
Here are some tips and reminders. Keep them in mind and share them with your family to help ensure your outdoor activities stay safe and fun.
Around the House
Keep Cords Safe
- Keep electrical cords away from pools and ponds and don’t let them rest in places where water can collect.
- If you have submerged lights or pumps, make sure any cords and connections are in good shape.
- Don’t let connections become wet.
Look at Trees, Fences, Structures
- Have any trees grown closer to power lines? They don’t have to be touching to be hazardous. Climbing kids or high winds can cause branches to bend into lines, so trim to avoid trouble. Kids like to climb fences, too, so if you’ve added one or made any structural changes that could be tempting, make sure they’re safely away from power lines.
Protect Outdoor Power with GFCIs
- Building codes require all outdoor outlets to be protected with ground fault circuit interrupters. Springtime is a good time to update unprotected outlets and test existing ones to make sure they work properly.
- If you’re connecting to an unprotected outlet, use a plug-in GFCI at the outlet or on an extension cord. They’re inexpensive, easy to use and available at any home or hardware center.
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when using wet/dry vacuums or electric power washers.
- Never handle electrical devices when you’re wet or standing in wet or damp areas. Even damp pavement can be hazardous.
Away From Home
Keep an Eye on the Sky
- Colorado is second only to Florida in the number of lightning strikes each year. And across the nation, nearly 100 people are killed and 500 are seriously injured by lightning annually. When thunderstorms are in the area, stay safely indoors until danger has passed.
Keep Kites, Poles, and Other Objects Away From Power Lines
- Always presume that power lines are energized and dangerous. Tethered items like kites can conduct current, including lightning, especially if they’re wet. Don’t throw shoes or other objects onto overhead lines, and never try to knock them down.
Be Safe Around Substations, Power Poles, and Downed Lines
- High voltage can travel through water, damp soil, and wet wood, so stay safely away from any downed power lines. Never play in or close to electric substations. Their extremely high voltages can arc, especially in wet or damp conditions. If a person or animal has been shocked, don’t approach them, but call 9-1-1 immediately. You don’t want to become a victim, too. If you see a downed line, call your utility to let them know. Don’t climb on power poles. Ever.
When in Doubt, Call a Pro
Working on wiring, switches, and outlets safely requires a knowledge of electrical circuitry and codes, so don’t risk injury, shock, fire hazards, or expensive repairs by ignoring warning signs or getting in over your head. If you have any problems or concerns about your electrical service, the pros at Allstar Electrical Services are ready to solve them for you. We offer homeowners, builders, and businesses reliable, professional electrical work that is safe and up to code.
Whatever your electrical needs may be, call Allstar Electrical at 303.399.7420 or visit our website. Then use our handy on-line forms to request a free estimate or set up an appointment. We’ve served the Front Range for over 15 years and are top-rated by the BBB and Angie’s List.
Allstar also offers 24/7 radio-dispatched emergency service throughout our Front Range service area.