Keep safe from shocks when cleaning and having fun this summer - HMS National, Inc.

Keep safe from shocks when cleaning and having fun this summer

June 17, 2014

With summer here, it's finally time to get outside and have fun - or take it as an opportunity to stay in and do the cleaning you've been putting off. While you're enjoying the sun or getting things done, it's important to keep electrical safety in mind. Last month was National Electric Safety Month, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, so now is the ideal time to put the lessons learned in May into action.

Keep safe while keeping clean
When you're tidying up extension cords or packing away heaters you won't need, make sure that the cords are in good shape. The National Fire Prevention Association recommends replacing damaged cords and preventing them from being damaged in the first place by not putting them under rugs or across doorways.

You should also consider contacting an electrician to add more outlets to your home if you're using too many extension cords. This way you can also follow another of the NFPA's tips: don't plug too many devices into an outlet at a time to avoid overloading it.

Enjoy the outdoors and avoid danger
The Salt Lake City Daily Herald shared advice from a local utility company about outdoor electrical safety.

"No matter what's on your agenda, electrical safety behaviors and an awareness of your surroundings should be part of your planning," Mike Felice, safety director of Rocky Mountain Power told the news source.

Overhead power lines can be a problem when using long tools to trim foliage or clean pools. They can also be dangerous when flying kites or use any other airborne toy. Keep an eye on the sky during any of these activities.

Power lines beneath your feet can pose a danger, too. If you're digging for a garden or a bigger project, check with your local power company first. Utility companies can mark underground power lines so you know which parts of the yard to steer clear of.

Everyone knows that water and electricity don't mix, but outside they can be hard to keep apart. Never use electric hedge trimmers or other power tools in a wet area.

Outlets in the garage or any other exterior part of the house can also pose a danger when it's wet. Be especially careful during rainy seasons, as you may not be able to tell when outlets have sustained water damage. You should only have ground fault current interrupter (GFCI) outlets outside to help prevent shocks if the circuit is overloaded.

Don't let these tips scare you into missing out on summer fun. Just stay cautious and you can enjoy the weather while staying safe.

The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.