Electricity, like many things, is both good and bad. It’s good because we use it to power everything we do in our lives. We depend on it to light up our work, play, and everything in between. We rely upon it to drive our modern world, keeping it moving forward as we go about our daily activities. And we particularly rely upon it in the summer months, when we’re using our air conditioners, working in our yards, and swimming in our pools. But we all know that electricity can also be a bad thing—but only when our use—direct or indirect—of it occurs in an unsafe manner. Electricity is extremely dangerous, even deadly, to those who do not respect its immense power. Though most of us likely will never be harmed by it, it only takes a split second of carelessness or distraction to be forever negatively impacted by electricity. Following are practical tips about how to stay safe in summer, brought to you from a top electrician near you.
Electricity and your home
Chances are very great that you’ve got more electricity in your home than ever. Our homes are filled with more electrical appliances than ever, and that should be a good thing. If you don’t have broad and specific knowledge of how to be safe around all things electrical that are going on in your home, it’s a very good thing you’re reading this article. Here are some tips on what to do around all that electricity that’s flowing through your home:
- Prevent electrical fires in your home by not overloading electrical circuits. This is particularly important in summer because window air conditioners are in use during these warm months.
- Be sure to keep all electrical equipment away from all things that include water, such as pools, spas, bath tubs, showers, and anything that can contain a wet surface.
- Don’t trim any trees on your property that may be near overhead power lines. Before you trim, prune, or cut any of the trees on your property, call your electric company to get their opinion on whether they should do it instead. Items such as ladders or tree limbs that are touching electrical lines have the power to electrocute.
- Before you do any digging on your property, call your electric company! Never, repeat, never dig on your property before you do this, as underground power lines actually can be buried in as shallow a ground as just 18 inches! That’s why virtually all electric companies in the country these days echo the same motto when it comes to digging: Call Before You Dig!
- When working on your roof, performing any kind of installation such as antenna, CB, radio, etc., or carrying ladders, look above to make sure you have adequate clearance of all overhead power lines. The minimum recommended clearance (remember—that’s minimum) is 10 feet or twice the antenna height, whichever number is greater.
Electricity and your children
Children need to know that electricity is dangerous and can kill! It might not sound like a discussion you want to have with your children because you don’t want to scare them, but the simple fact is that some things must be conveyed, particularly when it comes to electricity. Teach your children the following:
- Never ever touch anything electrical—especially when you’re wet or near water!
- Always keep away from all electrical equipment, including utility poles and substation fences!
- Never climb trees when there are electrical wires nearby!
- Always fly kites in open fields! Never fly a kite where there are or could be any overhead power lines. Additionally, if your kite ever gets caught in a power line, never try to untangle it!
Caution is the name of the game when it comes to working with, and around, all things electrical. In summer months, whether you’re working in your yard, you and your kids are swimming in your pool, or you’re cooling off in a pleasant air-conditioned room, it’s important to arm yourself with electrical safety tips. According to a recent report, electrical fatalities come in at upwards of 300 per year in the United States, and this number is only among those whose occupations include working directly with electricity. Additionally, electrical injuries among these workers are reported at more than 4,000 per year. Home electrical accidents tend to be even higher in numbers. Oftentimes, injuries and deaths caused by electrical accidents are avoidable. It’s just a matter of knowing and heeding the potential dangers of electricity. And, sadly, electrical injuries and fatalities can be particularly high in the summer months. For more tips on electrical safety in summer contact an electrician near you.