The onset of warmer weather usually encourages people to spend more time outdoors. Many of the outdoor activities that people enjoy require access to electricity. It's easy to overlook electrical safety when you are outdoors, but this is when safety matters most.
Be responsible with your electrical usage to ensure that your outdoor activities don't end in disaster.
1. Landscape With Caution
Spring and summer temperatures encourage homeowners to work on improving the landscape surrounding their home. You may be thinking about digging up a new garden plot, planting some new trees, or creating an outdoor living space in your yard. Each of these activities can pose a serious electrical risk.
You should avoid working with any electrical landscaping equipment when your landscape is damp or when it is raining. Water and electricity don't mix, and you could get electrocuted.
Never dig in your yard without contacting an electrician first. An electrical contractor will be able to help you locate electrical lines running beneath the ground so that you don't inadvertently strike them while planting trees or creating a new garden.
2. Use the Right Outlets
Electrical outlets on your home's exterior can serve as a great source of electricity for outdoor lighting, a stereo system, or a fan to help keep you cool. You must have access to the right kind of outlets when using any appliances outdoors if you want to avoid an electrical disaster.
All outdoor outlets should be GFCI outlets. These outlets are designed to immediately cut power to the circuit when they come into contact with water.
New homes are required to have GFCI outlets outdoors, but older homes may not be equipped with these types of outlets. Contact your electrician to upgrade any outdoor outlets you rely on during the spring and summer to GFCI outlets for maximum protection.
3. Inspect Pools and Spas
Many people have a private spa or pool in their backyard. These water features can provide entertainment and relaxation, but they can also be conduits for the transfer of electricity.
You should always have an electrician inspect the electrical element of your pool or spa before you step into the water for the first time each spring or summer. A thorough inspection of the pump will ensure that your pool or spa isn't leaking electricity that could find its way into the water and electrocute swimmers as they enter the water.