The sun is shining, the birds are singing and your allergy medicine kicked in. These are all signs that it’s time to get started on your outdoor projects. But this May – National Electrical Safety Month – take a moment to think about what’s powering your yard work.
With the recent emphasis on reducing dependence on foreign oil and carbon footprints, electric and battery powered equipment have grown in popularity.
While these are great for the environment, they present their own particular safety concerns. Use heavy-duty, weatherproof extension cords for anything you’re plugging in or using outside. Don’t leave lithium batteries on the charger for extended periods of time and never leave the charger plugged in, especially if they’re in a place like a garage or shed where they’re likely out of sight and therefore out of mind. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has a few more tips.
Warmer weather also is the time to get up on the roof or the upper reaches of the house. Fiberglass or wood ladders are preferable. If those aren’t an option, be extremely careful where you place the upper end of a metal ladder and never forget it conducts electricity. Home Depot knows all about outdoor safety and offers some simple tips for consumers.
If your projects take you underground, your motto is call before you dig – 402-344-3565 in Omaha. Finally, rather than trying to fiddle with that outdoor outlet that doesn’t have any juice or work with power lines, call in a licensed electrician.