Houston Home Service Experts

Spring Electrical Safety

Every season of the year presents different electrical and fire dangers to you and your home. Spring is the time of year when we spend more time outdoors, both working and playing. Over 140,000 electrical fires occur every year, resulting in tragic and costly injuries. Learn spring safety for spring happiness.

Take the time to go over this short electrical safety checklist to stay safe for the spring season:

1. Kites and Electricity

Although we all know the story of Benjamin Franklin experimenting with electricity with a kite and a key, you should never try to recreate this experiment. Even if you are innocently playing with a kite or another flying toy (consumer drones for instance), make sure to watch out for power lines, trees, and the weather.

Seek shelter right away if you hear thunder or see lightning and never play around electrical boxes or other electrical equipment. Obey all safety warnings and manufacturer instructions.

Lightning and other power surges can be very costly and dangerous to you and your home. Consider investing in whole-home surge protection to protect all your expensive electrical devices in and around your home. Call Universal Home Experts to install a whole-house surge protector directly on your home’s electrical panel for maximum security.

2. Down Power Lines

Stay far away from downed power lines. They are not insulated like regular power cords. The electricity can even travel through the ground, especially during wet conditions. Down power lines can energize the ground up to 30 feet away.

If you see a downed power line, call 911 and your local electrical utility right away and maintain a minimum distance of 30 feet away. Do not touch anything that the power line is in contact with, such as fences or water.

Never drive over, or near, a downed power line. Even if it appears to be a phone or cable cord, assume that all down lines are energized and dangerous.

For more information, visit PG&E’s Power Line Safety page.

3. Ladders and Scaffolding

You may be cleaning out your gutters, inspecting your roof for damage, or conducting other repairs this spring. Before conducting any work with a ladder, even a wooden one, make sure that you are a safe distance away from all power lines and wiring systems. Also, make sure your ladder is stable; having a partner help you is highly recommended. The same applies to scaffolding projects.

4. Outdoor Cords and Outlets

Unplug all outdoor appliances and cords when not in use. While you are at it, inspect all outdoor outlets for proper GFCI protection and all cords to make sure they are not damaged or frayed. Test your GFCI outlets by pushing the “test” button – the power should turn off. Next, press the “reset” button and the power should come back on again.

Only use certified extension cords and other electrical devices (for more information on counterfeit electrical products, visit the ESFI website). Replace all damaged cords and electrical appliances.

Never overload your electrical outlets or electrical panel. Make sure your electrical system is designed to handle your electrical load. If your breakers keep tripping, have a professional electrician diagnose your problem and recommend solutions for increasing your electrical Do not use outdoor electrical appliances around rain, wet grass, or other wet conditions.

Follow all manufacturer instructions when it comes to electrical devices and equipment. Don’t run cords underneath rugs, out windows, or any place where someone can trip, step on, or otherwise damage your electrical cords.

5. Check Before You Dig

Power lines, plumbing pipes, and other delicate equipment are sometimes located underneath the ground. Before you dig anywhere, make sure to call the new national number 811 before starting. For more information, visit http://www.call811.com.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are about 140,000 electrical fires every year. Don’t become a statistic; let’s do our part to reduce that number.

For additional electrical safety information, visit the Electrical Safety Foundation International’s website at www.electricalsafety.org or call 703-841-3229.

The most important thing you can do to protect you and your family from dangerous fires and carbon monoxide, you should have smoke & carbon monoxide detectors installed outside of every sleeping area, garages, basements, and attics.

For other Spring tips and chores around the home, visit our blog, Spring Chores Around the Home.

If you are having any trouble with the above Spring Electrical Safety tips, give Universal Home Experts a call at (713) 364-0226! We are your trusted source for local plumbing, electric, and HVAC installation and repair in Houston and the surrounding areas.

Our friendly, live call center is available 24/7 to answer any questions and handle all your needs.