Springtime is the perfect time of year for yard work and house projects. Regardless of what’s on the agenda, people and families should always make safety a top priority. Here are a few thoughts about basic safety tips that can keep your family healthy on both the outside and inside.
Electrical Safety Outside the Home
1. Homeowners get inspiration, especially during spring, to get those unfinished projects completed for the summer months ahead. Sometimes when working, there’s a tendency to leave power chords lying around outside near wet areas. Put every tool back where it belongs. Before long, it will become a safe habit.
2. If working outside, be aware of any overhead power lines. Before climbing ladders to trim or prune trees make sure the work area is clear. Before digging in the yard or planting trees, call 811. This is a free service managed by Underground Service Alert. Anyone can make the free call. You’ll receive instructions on the next step to check for underground electrical or gas lines etc.
3. When working near overhead lines, keep tools and materials at least 15 feet away. The same rule applies if installing an antenna or satellite dish. If you’re attempting the installation and it’s beyond your pay grade, call someone with expertise. Inspect your power tools on a regular basis. The same applies to your lawnmower if it’s electric. Remove any tools from commission that smoke, smell, or that constantly overheat.
4. Make sure children aren’t flying any kites or model planes near utility lines especially if the kit has any metallic materials. If a kite gets entangled, call the power company to come out and untangle it.
5. Professional arborists are the people who know tree trimming like the back of their hand. They know how to avoid power boxes and utility lines while caring for trees and shrubs. For the weekend warrior with his/her pruning tools, be mindful to prune shrubs and grass around power boxes. Clearing the area around the box is helpful to work crews that sometimes need to access them for routine maintenance.
Electrical Safety Inside the Home
The previous suggestions provided tips for outside safety. Safety on the inside is just as critical. Here’s how to keep the inside of your home or dwelling safe from electrical hazards:
- Make sure that organizations and consumer labs like UL have their stamp of approval on any appliances that you buy. Unplug any appliances not in use. This also applies to stereos or electrical equipment.
- You should never cover warm appliances with clothes, blankets, or any other household items. Let the appliances cool down first. This rule should also apply to computers.
- Most people should know this and it’s worth mentioning. Never touch appliances near their electrical outlet with wet hands. If you’re going to unplug any appliance, never pull the plug out of the wall without first having turned off the appliance. Remove the chord from the wall socket, and not by yanking on the chord.
Keep infants in mind. They become toddlers who can quickly find outlets and try to explore with an innocent finger. Place covers on ground level electrical outlets and keep a watchful eye on the child’s explorations.
It only takes a moment to put safety practices in place that can protect you and your family from harm. The vast majority of electrical accidents are caused by negligence. Once an accident occurs, it may be impossible to replace property that’s lost. With respect to a life, there can never be a replacement.