Memorial Day kicks off the summer season for many homeowners. And, chances are, this will be the beginning of many weekends spent barbecuing, enjoying a backyard swim or just doing yard work, home maintenance, landscaping and other projects outdoors.
But whether you’re taking a dip in the pool or planting flowers, it’s important to remember that you are surrounded by electricity and that outdoor electrical safety shouldn’t be overlooked.
Here are some electrical safety precautions to consider when you’re out in the backyard.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, electrical hazards in and around swimming pools were to blame for 60 deaths and nearly 50 serious shocks over the past 13 years. The CPSC, in conjunction with the American Red Cross, has compiled the following electrical safety tips for preventing backyard fires, or any other potentially dangerous or life-threatening electrical situations that may occur.
The CPSC recommends an annual check of outdoor electrical equipment, including:
Most experts advise leaving tree trimming to the professionals, particularly when the tree and its limbs are anywhere near a power line. But if you do plan to do some trimming, here are some safety reminders from the Electrical Safety Foundation International:
And an important general landscaping reminder: Call 811 before you begin any digging project. A federally mandated national number, 811 will connect you with a local call center that sends out a crew to identify underground utility lines. It’s really the best way to make sure you don’t inadvertently dig into one while planting a tree or shrub, or installing a deck or pool.
Good electrical safety habits can help you to make sure your family, friends and neighbors are safe and free to enjoy a little outdoors time in your back yard this season.