Inside Tips for Outdoor Electrical Safety

As summer winds down, most of us will spend our time outdoors barbecuing, going to the pool and doing home repairs. While you enjoy the fresh air, don’t let a dangerous electrical hazard put you at risk. The Leviton Institute has developed some electrical safety tips to keep you safe as you spend time outdoors.

Check to make sure the appliance you are using is rated for outdoor use. Most products rated for outdoor use are weather resistant to some degree; those that aren’t could become dangerous after a light sprinkle.

When using appliances such as leaf blowers, lawnmowers or hedge trimmers, always make sure any extension cord used is rated for outdoor use. Make sure the cord isn’t too long or thin, as it may not provide the proper amount of current to your appliance. The proper amperage required by most tools and appliances is usually displayed on them. Check all power and extension cords for cracks or nicks. Replace them if they show signs of wear.

Never remove a grounding pin from a three-pronged plug. This defeats the proper grounding of the appliance, rendering it unsafe. You may think this goes without saying, but never barbecue on an electric grill when it’s raining or even drizzling. Make sure the receptacle it is plugged into is equipped with a ground-fault circuit interrupter to prevent shock or electrocution.

Finally, if you see a storm approaching when you’re outside, try to find shelter indoors. If you hear thunder, seek shelter. Avoid metal items such as golf clubs or bats, as well as contact with water. When indoors, stay away from windows, doors and corded telephones.


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