April 11, 2023
Outdoor Electrical Safety *Infographic*
Warmer weather brings an increase in outdoor work which can also bring a risk of electrical Hazards. Powerlines, overloaded extension cords and insufficient outdoor outlets can lead to dangerous situations around your home.
As much as Coloradans enjoy their yards, it’s important to make sure your electricity matches your needs. Hot tubs, outdoor electrical grills and electrical outdoor fireplaces all require proper supplies. We cover four common outdoor electrical hazards and how you can avoid them.
It goes without saying that you want to avoid any encounter with a powerline. To keep yourself safe, always work at least 10 feet away from powerlines and always call your utility company if you see downed lines.
Your biggest risk around power lines is trees. Tree branches can conduct electricity. Before you plant new trees, make sure there is ample space for it to grow without risk of touching a line. Never touch or prune a tree that is touching a power line. Instead, call your utility company to have the issue professionally resolved. Make sure kids understand the dangers and stay out of trees near power lines.
Outdoor extension cords are handy for your electric lawn mower, portable music player or electric grill but make sure you use them properly. Electricity can be more dangerous outside than under your roof.
Keep in mind that extension cords are not intended to be a permanent electrical solution. Use them on clear days while you’re present but don’t leave extension cords plugged in outside. And never use indoor extension cords outside. They lack the hard coating that exterior extension cords have and could wear out and cause sparking or fire. It’s also important to not daisy chain electrical cords outside. Multiple extension cords are another fire hazard risk.
Outdoor Electrical Outlets
Having outlets outdoors to power your patio, deck or hot tub area is a wonderful convenience but make sure you have the right type of outlets and that your power supply is sufficient for your needs. Only install ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets in your yard. These are the outlets with the tiny switches in the middle that will automatically shut off when there is an overload. GFCI outlets are important to keep you safe from moisture and other outdoor issues.
In addition to using the proper outlets, make sure you have outdoor electrical outlet covers on all of yours. Covers prevent the weather from causing your outlets to short out. Finally, install the right amount of outlets instead of relying on risky extension cords or outlet strips.
In the event that you need to use a generator to power your home, make sure you follow all important safety precautions. Most important is to ensure that your generator is grounded. If it isn’t, you risk electrical shock or damage to your electrical system. The most common method of grounding a generator is to drive a grounding rod into the ground and connect it via a copper wire.
If you do connect your home to a generator, be sure that you have a transfer switch to safely conduct the power into your home’s system. A licensed electrician can help with this installation. Once you start your generator, keep it away from doors, vents and windows where harmful exhaust fumes could enter.
Expert Outdoor Electrical Work in Colorado
If you’re looking to upgrade the electrical capabilities in your yard, call the experts. Our electricians can help with outlet installation, outdoor lighting, increased supply and outdoor safety issues. Schedule your service with Applewood today.