Summertime is when many of your electrical devices end up outdoors. After all, pool parties aren’t much fun without music, and you’ll probably need to plug in the electric bug zapper, and use the outlet on the porch to charge your phone. From pool pumps to power tools, items that demand electricity come out of hiding when the weather gets warm. Unfortunately, some people aren’t careful with them, and that’s why so many end up with serious injuries. Electrocution can be extremely dangerous, so knowing how to safely use electrical devices outdoors is critical.
Electrical Safety Outdoors
First, it’s important to note that there’s a difference between how indoor and outdoor electrical cords are manufactured. A power cord or extension cord rated for outdoor use is made from a tougher material that’s designed to tolerate extreme temperatures, weather, moisture, chemicals and UV rays. Your electric trimmer and pool pump are designed to be operated outdoors, so unless they become damaged, you can safely trust the attached power cords. However, never link them to an indoor extension cord. Doing so could cause electric shock or even start a fire. Here are a few more important outdoor electricity safety tips to keep you and your family in the sun and out of the emergency room.
• Examine extension cords regularly for signs of damage. If they appear warped, cracked, burnt or shredded, replace them immediately.
• Whenever possible, keep all electrical cords away from moisture and the elements.
• Keep all electric devices away from children and pets.
• When you’re not using your electric device, store it indoors; this will extend the life of the wiring and cords.
• Don’t hang cords over beams, pipes or nails as this can damage the covering.
• Keep work areas and the area around your electric meter clear.
• Uncoil and extend long cords such as those on electric trimmers when in use. If the word remains coiled, it’s more likely to overheat.
• Never handle or plug in electrical devices when wet.
• Don’t leave patio lights or other devices that may overheat unattended.
• Be sure all your outdoor receptacles are GFCI protected.
For more detailed information about outdoor electrical safety, download the free safety check booklet from Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi).
Find Your Summer Essentials at Rocky’s
At Rocky’s Ace Hardware, we have all the tools and supplies you need to make this summer the best ever. If your outdoor extension cords look worn or old, or your electric trimmer has a short, play it safe and order replacements with just a few clicks. We’re also your one-stop resource for summer essentials including pool chemicals, lighting supplies and garden tools. Visit Rocky’s online today, and have a safer and more spectacular summer.