Summer is sizzling – whether you’re out at the shore working on your tan or throwing some burgers on the grill. It’s time for graduation parties, vacations, popup tents in the back yard and s’mores by the fire.
With all that fun happening, we hate to be the downers who tell you that there are electrical dangers lurking near every pool and at every barbecue. But if you know what they are, you can take some simple precautions to ensure that your summer is safer for everyone.
Look for these electrical danger signs and use our tips to keep your summer sizzling and make sure nobody gets zapped.
We know it’s tough to separate kids and teenagers (and even some adults!) from their smart phones, but dragging an extension cord over to the pool so you can keep it charged long enough to Instagram your last dive is not a good idea.
Any electrical device or appliance should be kept away from pools. This goes for bathtubs and sinks inside the house, too. And while you’re at it, ban devices that use batteries. They may not produce a fatal effect when dropped in water, but that doesn’t mean they can’t give you an unpleasant shock. Stick to the beach balls and foam noodles – that’s what summer is all about!
If you want to set up your smart phone somewhere out of harm’s way so you can play some tunes, always use an extension cord (if you need it) that is specifically designed to be used outdoors.
Unlike their indoor counterparts, they’re designed to be exposed to small amounts of moisture and water. And take this opportunity to check cords for fraying or breakage. If you see any, stop using the cord immediately. Better yet, use battery-powered devices whenever possible. You can find some great options for speakers, lanterns and lots of other things you may want to bring to the party.
In reality, your pool needs electricity to function. The filter, pump, perhaps a vacuum cleaner, lighting, or even a motorized cover will all require electricity.
Installing outlets and wiring for a pool is not a DIY project. There are a number of safety requirements related to placement of outlets, grounding of outlets and more. If you’ve tried your hand at installing some component in the past, or if you’re not sure whether nearby outlets are grounded, call a professional immediately.Need help with pool electrical? Let's talk!
This one can keep you safer all year long. Hundreds of people are electrocuted, and tens of thousands are shocked in homes across the United Staes each year. In fact, nearly three-quarters of electrical accidents involving children happen while they’re under adult supervision! You can help avoid serious accidents, injury and even death with GFCI outlets.
Not only should they be installed near your pool, but near bathtubs, sinks, spas, or any water source. If there is an electrical surge, like an appliance being dropped in water, the outlet will immediately cut the power, possibly saving lives.
It’s nice to know you can grab your smart phone if you want some music, or run an extension cord if you want to drag the TV outside and watch a movie under the stars. But if you like the outdoor lifestyle, you’ll be safer and enjoy it more with permanently installed components.
There’s a lot you can do outdoors to turn your back yard into an entertainment space, from lighting to speakers, TVs, refrigerators and more. With the right kind of wiring (translation: safe) you can enjoy all of these things as permanent fixtures and never have to worry that you’re using the wrong kind of outlet, cord or appliance. That’s a safer and more enjoyable summer for everyone.Let us help you bring your indoor lifestyle outdoors. Contact us for a free estimate!
Did you know that as much as 20% of consumer-product related electrocutions are directly attributed to attempting to repair a large appliance? And what appliance is most likely to conk out in the dead heat of summer?
Grown-ups take heed: you may have a strong DIY streak but wouldn’t you rather enjoy time with the kids and family than end up seriously injured or – forgive our bluntness – dead? It’s not worth the few bucks you’ll save. If your air conditioner or any appliance needs a repair, call in a pro who knows how to take the proper safety precautions.
She’s the mother of all electrical shocks – lightning. While you can’t prevent lightning, you can certainly take steps to protect yourself from it. And while the chance of getting struck by lightning is fairly small, you probably don’t want you or a family member to be one of the 50 people who die, on average, each year, or one of the hundreds who survive with debilitating injuries.
Check weather reports before you head out for a day at the beach. If a storm looks likely, consider switching plans. If you see lightning or hear thunder, get everyone out of the water immediately. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) uses the 30-30 rule: if you see lightning, start counting to 30. If you hear thunder before you get to 30, go indoors and wait it out until you can count to 30 before hearing thunder after lightning again. Avoid concrete, because the metal wiring embedded in it can attract lightning. Avoid metal benches or overhangs, and tall structures like trees. When in doubt, you can safely wait out a storm in your car. Be safe, not a statistic.
Did you know that docks and boats can leak electricity into the water? Electric shock drowning is one of the more common boating hazards, which means your safety depends on knowing how to protect yourself.
Never swim in the water near a boat dock. In fact, you should not enter the water when loading or launching your boat, either. Make sure your boat is professionally inspected to be sure it meets safety codes and standards. And remember the GFCI receptacle? All outlets near the dock should be GFCI. If yours aren’t, your safety could depend on finding another place to dock.
Summer is a time for home improvement projects, whether you’re finally going to install that lighting on the patio, or you’re planning a bigger remodel that involves cutting through walls to add windows or doors, installing new electrical wiring for air conditioners or ceiling fans, or upgrading the bathroom or kitchen. Even if you’ve got the time and you’re looking forward to hours and days with a power tool and a mess, it’s safer to hire a qualified professional who knows what dangers to look for, where, and how to avoid them.
Consider this: the leading cause of nearly 400,000 residential fires each year is electrical malfunction. It’s too easy to make a mistake that can result in a danger to you, or a longer-term danger to your home and family. Nearly 10% of consumer-product related injuries are a result of power tools. And another 10% are related to ladders and equipment that come into contact with power lines.
If you simply can’t resist, then at a minimum make sure you’re well-acquainted with your home’s electrical system so you’re not inadvertently cutting through wires or overloading circuits. When you’re working on a circuit, always turn off the power to that circuit and test to be sure it’s off. Don’t touch plumbing or gas pipes when working on an electrical project. Use GFCI receptacles whenever you plug in a power tool and always wear protective gear.
Summer should be a time for fun, friends and family. Whether you’re an avid beachgoer or a grill enthusiast, we want you to spend your time doing what matters to you – not worrying about safety and hidden electrical dangers.
If you need electrical work done, or if you’re concerned that something isn’t quite right with what you’ve got, get in touch with us for a free consultation and estimate. We’re available for all of your indoor or outdoor electric needs, no matter how big or small the job.