Summertime Electrical Safety Tips

Stay Safe During Summer Fun

Summertime is practically upon us. Most of our kids (and teachers) are counting down the days until school is out and three months of freedom begin. We spend out summer enjoying ourselves, indulging in outdoor activities like picnics and swimming. It is important to remember, though, that as we move our fun outdoors we have to be aware of the dangers summertime outdoor electricity can pose to us and our children. Check out these tips that can ensure that you have a fun, safe, and happy summer!

Remember that Electricity and Water Don’t Mix…Ever

Who doesn’t daydream about sitting in a lounge chair by the pool with a cool drink and some even cooler tunes? Your feet are up, your sunglasses are on, your friends and loved ones are splashing in the pool and, for that matter, splashing everything within a 10-foot perimeter of the pool deck! When you take your mini fridge outside to keep your sodas cool and not have to go all the way back into the kitchen for another, make sure that you have it plugged in far enough from any water sources (pool, sprinkler, hot tub) that the electrical connection can’t get wet. The same goes for bringing your radio outside for the tunes, or your blender for some cool frozen drinks. Not only should all of your outdoor outlets have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI), they must be weather-resistant GFCI receptacles. These receptacles are marked with a “WR”. Remember not to touch any outdoor appliances while you, yourself, are wet. No quicker way to dampen the spirits (pun intended) of your backyard party than an electrical accident. You have better things to do with your summer than ride in an ambulance!

Stay Away From Power Lines

Whether they are up on a pole, connected to your house, or lying on the ground, power lines are NOT your friend. Always assume that any and all power lines are live and dangerous. Don’t touch a power line…PERIOD. Don’t touch it with any part of your body, don’t touch it with a stick or a toy, don’t throw your tied-together shoes up there, DON’T TOUCH IT. Fly your kite in a wide open field away from power lines. Don’t climb trees that are too close to power lines. And while we are talking about climbing, don’t climb power poles or towers either. Why risk spending your glorious summer months in the hospital with serious electrical burns when you could simply…say it with me now…stay away from power lines.

Get Grounded

Using a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter can help prevent electrocutions and electrical shock injuries. Portable GFCIs are easy to install and require no tools. And they can be purchased at very reasonable prices ranging from $12 to $30. Electrical devices like GFCIs, electrical receptacles, switches, plugs, and outlets can be damaged if they get wet. It is important to replace any of these if they become very wet or submerged. Protect them by using outlet covers near outdoor water sources. According to the National Electric Code (NEC), all exterior receptacles must be enclosed with a heavy duty “in-use cover”. And while you’re at it, protect your home by making sure all of your indoor appliances are plugged into grounded outlets and not extension cords. And make sure you have GFCI outlets in all of your wet areas inside your home. Your bathroom, kitchen, basement, even your garage, can be very vulnerable to moisture in the outlets. Make sure you have a safe and secure home to retreat into when the heat outside gets to be too much. Ground it! Any electrical devices and appliances that will be near water sources, “you’re grounded!”

In the event that an electrical emergency does happen, know where your circuit breakers are, and know how to quickly and safely turn them off. If you have any questions about how to keep your family safe and happy during the fun summertime months, please call a certified electrician like the ones at Hufnagel Electric for sound expert advice. And above all, have a great summer!