tree branches touching power line

6 Summertime Electrical Safety Tips for The Whole Family

Summer is a time for fun, but electricity can still pose safety risks if you aren’t careful! Share these tips below with friends and family so that you can all avoid electrical dangers this season.

1. Avoid plugging in electronics close to a pool.

Water conducts electricity, so keeping an electrical device plugged in where it might get splashed is never a good idea. Keep plugged-in speakers, fans, toys, and charging phones well away from any wet area.

2. Make sure that all electrical connections to pools and hot tubs are grounded.

When you ground an electrical connection, you’re providing an extra layer of protection for people against electrocution. The ground wire gives an electrical current a safe route to travel in the event of a short circuit. Instead of causing a harmful or fatal electric shock, the current will simply trip a circuit breaker or blow a fuse if it has a ground wire on which to travel.

3. Convert basic outdoor outlets to GFCI outlets.

Installing ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets is another way to prevent deaths from electrocution. You’ll commonly find these outlets in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas of the home where electronics and appliances may get wet.

When a GFCI outlet detects an interruption in the electrical current to a plugged-in device, it cuts the power. This can prevent you from being shocked to death by a device that accidentally gets dropped in water.

4. While trimming or climbing trees, watch out for nearby power lines.

Live trees contain water, which helps them conduct electricity. Electricity can travel from a powerline to a tree branch—and subsequently, to a person touching the tree. For this reason, it’s extremely important to watch out for any power lines near trees that you intend to trim or climb.

5. Use lights that are rated for outdoor use.

If you plan on sprucing up your patio or other outdoor areas with string lights or hardwired light fixtures, make sure the lights are rated for outdoor use. This means that the components will be less susceptible to sun damage, wear and tear, and may also be safe to use in a wet location. Remember: read the labels carefully before installing or hanging up your lights outdoors.

6. Never swim during a thunderstorm.

Water draws lightning because of how well it conducts electricity. During a thunderstorm, it’s best to steer clear of any body of water, even if it’s as small as a swimming pool or hot tub. In fact, the CDC recommends that you even avoid using your plumbing fixtures until a thunderstorm has passed. This is because lightning can travel down the water and metal in your plumbing system to the taps that you might be using to shower, bathe, or wash your hands.

At 1st Home & Commercial Services, your safety is our top priority before, during, and after any electrical work. To learn more about our electrical services, visit our webpage or give us a call at (512) 957-2992.

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