Outdoor Electrical Safety
August 10, 2018
Summer is one of the best times of the year for being outside. Not only are the kids home from school for a few months, but it’s the ideal time for families to go on vacation together and enjoy the moments together that make some of the best memories.
And while we’d never do or say anything to imply otherwise, we feel we’d be doing something wrong if we didn’t warn you of all the dangers of being outdoors. While everyone’s out and about playing or working on the yard, they’re still likely using electricity. Whether that’s power tools or a grill, electronics aren’t limited to indoor use by any means.
If you’re not careful, you can accidentally get hurt by an electrical appliance. And if you’ve got younger kids running around, you’ll need to be doubly cautious to be sure they don’t inadvertently come across something that could hurt them. We want all of our Orlando neighbors to enjoy the summer as much as possible, so we at Electric Today have compiled a quick list of things to keep in mind when spending time outside.
To be extra-sure that your outdoor environment is totally safe, give us a call! Our electricians can double-check and make sure all of your outdoor electrical receptacles are A-Okay for everyone in your home.
Observe Your Outlets
Give a quick glance to the exterior outlets around your home. They should be GFCI (Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter) units – meaning that they protect delicate electrical components from short-circuiting. These outlets are designed to counteract the harmful effects water can have on electricity, so they shut themselves off quickly if they detect even the slightest difference in current strength.
Make sure they all work. You may need to press the “RESET” button on the outlet to prime it, but that should be all you need to do. All of your exterior outlets should be GFCI versions, but if for some reason they’re not, call an electrician!
Examine Your Extension Cords
Although they may all seem the same, not all extension cords are designed to be used outdoors. Some are specifically designed to function inside, while others are created with a lesser amperage load in mind. If you hook up an extension cord to a power tool that can’t handle the current for it, for instance, then several problems could ensue – like overheating or damage to the motor.
See Some Rain? See Ya Later!
It’s common sense not to use electrical appliances when rain starts coming down, but it never hurts to bear repeating. Any time rain begins falling – no matter how heavy – it’s time to pack up whatever you were doing. Even if there’s just a light pitter-patter on the deck and you’re trying to grill up some burgers, shut it down and wait it out.
That’s not ideal, and it’s definitely not any fun, but you’d much rather be safe than sorry. The same goes for any time you see a storm – but it extends beyond electrical safety. The minute you spot some lightning in the distance, get indoors.
Being outside should be a time of fun and laughter, not one spent repairing an appliance or tending to someone because they weren’t smart about being safe. Make sure everyone knows the rules of being outside, and let them know what to do in case of an emergency.
To learn more about how to make your home safe and sound during the summer, give Electric Today a call at 813-653-4221 and schedule an appointment to have an electrician come take a look!