As the weather gets warmer, it’s important to remember that summer poses many electrical safety hazards, some you may not even think about. Our team of Maryland residential electricians has assembled a list of summer electrical safety tips that you and your family should be aware of. Keep these in mind and you will enjoy a much safer summer!
Summer Electrical Safety Tips: Outdoor Hazards
Summer is the time when everyone wants to play outside, so it is important that everyone knows what possible electrical safety hazards to avoid. Go around the outside of your home and through your neighborhood with your family and show them where telephone poles and electrical lines are located. Explain the following so that the dangers associated with them are understood:
- Never play near or touch a power line with any part of your body, a toy, a stick, or any other object. Assume at all times that any power line you see is live and dangerous. If you see a downed line, stay away and report it to your local utility company immediately.
- Never approach an electrical substation (or downed power lines) for any reason whatsoever. If a friend, family member or pet has entered this area, do not try to rescue them yourself—call 911 immediately.
- Never climb on or play around a utility pole. In fact, never post any signs or flyers on utility poles either as this can endanger you and utility workers that have to work on those poles.
- This may seem like a repeat of the other outdoor summer electrical safety tips, but never throw shoes or articles of clothing up onto power lines, and never try to retrieve any object already hanging from a power line.
- To avoid getting kites, model aircraft or any other airborne toys stuck in power lines, play with these things in wide open spaces like parks or fields far away from power lines.
- Kids love to climb trees in the summer, but they should never climb trees that are too close to power lines; even if the tree isn’t touching a line, the extra weight from someone climbing the tree could cause a branch to touch the line. In fact, if you feel that any trees in your yard or neighborhood are too close to power lines, talk with your local utility about having them trimmed or possibly removed.
Summer Electrical Safety Tips: Around the Home
One of the most important things to remember is that water and electricity don’t mix well—in fact, they are deadly dangerous together. Many of these summer electrical safety tips take this basic rule into consideration:
- Keep all electrical toys and appliances away from the water. This means pools, bathtubs, sprinkler systems, sinks, etc.
- Do not touch an electrical toy or appliance if you are wet or standing in the water. Electricity travels very quickly through water and leads to electrocution!
- Make sure the electrical connections to your pools and hot tubs are fully grounded. Our residential electricians can help you if you have any questions about appliance connections and their safety.
- Make sure all major appliances (washers, dryers, refrigerators, air conditioners, etc.) are plugged into grounded outlets and not extension cords!
- Now is also a good time to go around your home and see that you have GFCI outlets installed in all “wet” areas of your home (bathrooms, kitchens, garages, basements, pool rooms, etc.)
- In the event of an emergency, know where your circuit breakers are and how to safely turn them off.
- Never plug in any appliance if you notice that the cord is frayed or damaged in any way.