The arrival of summer brings with it sun, fun and plenty of time spent outdoors, particularly when trying to catch up with projects around the house.
When tackling those household jobs, don’t forget to keep safety in mind, particularly around electricity. Statistics indicate that about 400 people are electrocuted each year in the U.S. and thousands more are injured as a result of electrical incidents. Summer is typically the prime season for those types of injuries.
Here are seven tips that can help keep you safe while trying to check off all those items on your to-do list.
1. Be wise around wires. Summer is thunderstorm season, and while we’ve made significant investments in strengthening our system, fierce thunderstorms may bring down lines. No matter what the season, stay at least 10 feet away from fallen power lines and always assume that the wire is energized. Report the fallen wires to 1-800-DIAL-PPL.
2. Climb with caution. The summer months are a good time to do maintenance on roofs, trees, and shutters. When climbing ladders to do those jobs, be aware of any power lines that may pose a risk and avoid making contact with those lines. Always stay at least 10 feet away from those lines and make sure anything you are holding or touching is at least 10 feet away.
3. Before digging, call 811. Summer is prime yard work season. If a home improvement or landscaping project requires digging with power equipment, make a toll-free 811 call three business days before work starts to request a survey of underground utilities. Call 811 if it appears digging in your neighborhood is being done without a survey.
4. Keep power equipment away from water. If you undertake a yard project that requires power tools and extension cords near a pool, pond or water fountain, make sure to keep those devices and cords away from water and wet grass. Make sure that the cord used for the tool is plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter.
5. Don’t overextend power cords. When cutting the grass or trimming weeds with electric-powered equipment, make sure extension cords aren’t damaged or frayed. Don’t overload them and don’t use multiple extension cords together.
6. Hold on to those balloons. Graduations and pool parties are summer staples. If your preparation for a party involves Mylar balloons, make sure to tie them down. They can cause power outages if they touch electrical lines.
7. Be cool AND safe. When you return indoors from a day of outdoor chores, you want a safe, properly functioning air conditioning system. Have a licensed inspector look over the system to make sure it’s operating safely and efficiently.
For more on electrical safety, visit pplelectric.com/safety.