We hope you’re enjoying a nice, lazy summer — lounging by the pool with the family during the day, taking the kids for a walk around the neighborhood at night, plenty of grilling and chilling on the weekends. Just because we’re in summer relaxation mode doesn’t mean we can afford to be lax about electrical safety. You might think the tips below are common sense, but it never hurts to review the following safety measures with the whole family.
Around the Pool
- Make sure all electrical toys and appliances stay far away from the water. This applies to adult toys too — if you want to set up speakers for your pool party, make sure they’re at least ten feet from the water. Use battery-operated devices instead of electrical whenever possible.
- Do not touch anything electrical (cords, appliances, the volume knob on those speakers we mentioned above) if you are wet or standing in water.
- Be certain that the electrical connections to your pool and hot tub, including any cleaning equipment, are properly grounded. If you’re not sure how to check this, contact your residential electrician.
- Use outlet covers on any outdoor electrical outlets (especially those in close proximity to pools or hot tubs) to keep them dry.
- Use GFCIs for any outdoor electrical needs (again, especially if they’re close to the water). Portable GFCIs are inexpensive and easy to install — no tools needed!
- Read up on outdoor electrical cord use and follow the safety guidelines. Keep cords far away from pools and make their location clear to guests to avoid trips and falls.
- Never swim during an electrical storm.
Around the Neighborhood
- Stay away from power lines — do not touch them with any part of your body or any other object. Warn your kids never to touch or play near them. If you see downed power lines, call 911 from a safe distance.
- Never enter an electrical substation. If a friend, family member, or pet has entered or become trapped in a substation, do not try to rescue them yourself. Call 911 immediately.
- Do not climb trees close to power lines. Even if the tree is not currently in contact with the lines, the addition of your weight might shift it into closer proximity. If you spot trees in your neighborhood that are close to power lines, contact your utility company about having them trimmed or removed.
- Do not throw objects (shoes, clothing etc.) at power lines. Do not attempt to remove objects from power lines.
- Kites, model airplanes, drones, and other airborne toys should only be used in wide open spaces, far away from power lines. If a toy becomes entangled in power lines, do not try to retrieve it.
- Never climb or play on utility poles. Never tape or attach signs, decorations, or art projects to utility poles. This is not only dangerous for you, but could compromise the safety of your local utility workers.
- Do not play outside during electrical storms. Lightning strikes could result in serious injury or even death.
Summer is the season for fun in the sun. Keep the fun in full force by paying close attention to electrical safety when you’re frolicking by the pool or exploring the great outdoors. Enjoy your summer!