Electrical safety is a must and summertime brings a lot of changes to the daily routine. The kids are running in and out of the house. You try to tackle some difficult home improvement projects. And there’s a lot of different entertainment devices and HVAC appliances getting plugged in and used more often than usual.
We have a few special tips for electrical safety during the summer. The big takeaways for you and the kids: don’t use electronics near water, and make sure your appliances and outlets are in good working order!
Electrical Safety in Summer Weather
Here are some specific reminders for electrical safety on hot days and summer projects around the house:
- Fans and portable air conditioners: If you like to plug in multiple small appliances like desk fans to help cool down, be careful not to overload a circuit. If a breaker trips, try plugging the appliance into a different outlet.
- Old extension cords and power strips: Are you plugging in those fans or maybe a new video game console for the kids, and you get to the point where you need extension cords or power strips? You should really buy new ones every few years. Better yet, ask an electrician to install an extra outlet or two. You don’t want extension cords causing a tripping hazard or numerous power strips causing an overloaded circuit.
- Gardening and power tools: For those summer landscaping projects, be careful with corded power tools. Keep them away from water and make sure the plugs and outlets are in good shape — get electrical repairs if you find loose connections or corrosion.
Keep Kids Safe Around Electricity
Explain to your kids in simple terms that electricity and water are dangerous together. And like those old cartoons would say, play it safe around power lines!
Most importantly, kids should be careful with electrical devices when enjoying the swimming pool or toys like Slip’N Slide. Make sure you kids and their friends know:
- Don’t use phones or electronics in a swimming pool
- Dry off after swimming before touching any electrical cords or outlets
- Ask an adult for help using any kind of pool equipment
- Don’t dig near utility lines or play on light poles
Should You Unplug Appliances Before a Long Vacation?
It’s a good idea to unplug expensive electronics like that new 4K TV and the computer. You don’t want a power surge from a utility problem or storm to damage those devices. You’ll also save a small amount of electricity.
However, it’s almost never worth it to unplug the refrigerator or shut down the air conditioner. Just set them warmer while you’re away. The cost of restarting a fridge from room temperature will outweigh the savings of unplugging it, and booting up to cool down a 90-degree house can be very stressful for your air conditioner’s electrical components.
Go ahead and contact us your local electrician for help if you find any loose electrical outlets, old outlets near water that should be converted to GFCI, or if your air conditioning and fans cause flickering lights or tripping breakers.