Don’t fall into the trap of disregarding electrical safety during the fall season! Check out our tips to keep your autumn as safe and enjoyable as possible.
TIPS FOR AROUND THE HOME Each season of the year brings changes to the weather and our activities. Therefore, the type of electrical hazards you may be likely to encounter changes with the seasons. This fall it is important to stay focused on electrical safety around the home to keep your family safe and comfortable.
- Use space heaters carefully. Space heaters can be quite a safety hazard if you don’t use them safely. Always make sure that there’s nothing flammable within three feet of your space heater and never plug your space heater into an extension cord.
- Inspect all of your extension cords. Check your extension cords for damage and make sure that any extension cords you use outdoors are weather-rated.
- Check cold weather tools. Any electrical tools, such as leaf blowers, should be checked for any unusual wear and tear. Be sure to check their power cords and to replace or repair any that show damage.
- Sweep dry leaves away from any outdoor outlets, light fixtures, and power cords. Dry leaves can easily catch fire if hit with a spark of some kind.
- Be careful about using electrical devices outdoors. Make sure that any electrical devices used outside are weatherproof. If you have outdoor electrical outlets, then they should be covered GFCI outlets.
- Test your smoke alarms. Make sure that all of your smoke alarms are in working order. This ensures that if an electrical fire breaks out, you and your family will be properly warned before the fire grows out of control.
TIPS FOR AROUND THE FARM The culmination of a season of hard work can be an exciting and exhausting time. However, the rush to harvest can also yield tragic outcomes. Each year, dozens of farmworkers are killed and hundreds are injured in accidents involving power lines and electrical equipment. Farmworkers should take these steps to ensure a safer harvest season.
- Maintain a 10-foot clearance around all utility equipment in all directions.
- Use a spotter and deployed flags to maintain safe distances from power lines and other electrical equipment when working in the field.
- If your equipment makes contact with an energized or downed power line, contact 9-1-1 immediately and remain inside the vehicle until the power line is de-energized. If your vehicle is on fire, jump out and away from the vehicle so that no part of your body touches the equipment and the ground at the same time. Continue jumping away from the vehicle with your feet together, downhill if possible, until you are well away from the vehicle.
- Consider equipment and cargo extensions of your vehicle. Lumber, hay, tree limbs, irrigation pipes, and even bulk materials can conduct electricity, so keep them out of contact with electrical equipment.