Summer is the time for swimming and boating. Storms and heavy rains are also common during the summer season. The combination of water and electricity is extremely dangerous. Awareness of electrical hazards around water can help prevent deaths and injuries. Below are some safety tips and reminders to help you and your loved ones stay safe this summer.
- Boating and Marina Safety - Just like your home, it is critical that you have your boat inspected regularly by a licensed electrician and that you are familiar with the electrical system so you can identify and correct any potential hazards.
- Air Conditioners and Fans - Hot weather brings increased use of air conditioners. Contact with electric current from air conditioners accounts for a significant number of electrocutions and electrical injuries each year.
- Pool and Spa Safety - The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that since 1990, there have been 60 electrocutions and nearly 50 serious electrical shocks involving electrical hazards in and around swimming pools.
- Power Tools - According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are nearly 400 electrocutions in the United States each year.
- Never touch electrical outlets with your fingers or with objects.
- Never play with electrical cords, wires or switches.
- If you're in the bathtub, shower, or standing on a wet floor never touch anything electrical like a light switch or hairdryer.
- When playing outdoors never play around electrical wires or equipment.
- Stay away from areas marked DANGER: HIGH VOLTAGE.
- Never climb utility poles, transmission towers or fences around substations.
- Climb trees that are far away from power lines. Learn to look up to check for power lines before climbing trees.
- If you like to fly kites, remember to fly them only in dry weather and in open spaces, away from power lines; never use wire or metal in a kite and if your kite gets caught in a power line, leave it there and call your electric utility.
Indoor Safety Tips
- Guard against electrical shocks by installing ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in bathroom outlets and other similar areas.
- Make sure all major appliances (washers, dryers, refrigerators, air conditioners, etc.) are plugged into grounded outlets and not extension cords!
- Keep all electrical toys and appliances away from the water. This means pools, bathtubs, sprinkler systems, sinks, etc.
- Don’t use a plugged in appliance, like a hair dryer, when standing on a damp floor or in a wet bathtub or shower.
- If a plugged in appliance falls into water, DO NOT reach in to get it out. Turn off electricity at circuit breaker or fuse box before unplugging.
- Don’t overload an outlet or circuit in your home, such as with Christmas lights.
- Unplug appliances before working on them.
- Use only electrical cords in good condition, don’t run them under rugs or furniture, and DO NOT staple or nail them in place.
- Instruct children not to play with or plug anything into an electrical outlet.
- Use plastic outlet caps on unused outlets.
Outdoor Safety Tips
- Stay away from downed power lines—Keep everyone away and call the emergency number on your electric bill or 911.
- Never throw shoes or articles of clothing up onto power lines, and never try to retrieve any object already hanging from a power line.
- If you are involved in a vehicle accident and a power line falls across your vehicle, stay put until help arrives. Your tires provide important insulation from the ground.
- Don’t touch an object that is in contact with power lines; including tree limbs. Remember tree limbs can conduct electricity.
- Watch the weather. If it’s rainy or windy, save the outdoor work until another day. Accidents are more likely to happen during stormy weather.
- Don’t tempt fate…or lightning—Stay indoors or seek shelter during storms.
- Keep an eye on the sky. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Find shelter immediately.
- Find shelter in a building or car. Keep car windows closed.
- Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances. Avoid using the telephone or other electrical appliances.
Before construction, excavation or digging is done on your premises, call 811 to have underground utility owned lines located and marked.