Outdoor spring-cleaning, renovations or additions to the outdoor entertaining area, or, come Christmastime, outdoor lights, are all fairly common things this time of year. But there are a number of potential electrical hazards that you should be aware of before you carry out any spring-cleaning, renovations or decorating around your home this spring.
Refer to this checklist to ensure you stay safe:
When using electricity outdoors:
- Always ensure clearance distances are correct when seeking development approvals for home extensions, sheds, or entertaining areas.
- Use portable safety switches when operating outdoor appliances and tools.
Spring-cleaning the garden:
- Check for all overhead power lines before moving tall objects and structures.
- Engage the services of a qualified tree-trimming contractor to maintain vegetation near electricity service lines.
Before hanging any Christmas lights or decorations that use electricity:
- When shopping for outdoor lights, make sure you only purchase lights that are recommended for outdoor use.
- Whether they’re brand new, or veterans from Christmases past, inspect all lights before you put them up, checking for faults or loose wiring.
- Reduce the risk of electric shock by using a wooden ladder in favour of a metal one.
- Don’t overload extension cords and power boards—before plugging your lights and decorations in, find out the wattage rating of your extension cord/power board and the combined power requirements of your decorations.
- Always turn off all Christmas lights and decorations at night or when you leave the house.
Stay safe this spring, and remember to always check with an electrician before carrying out any major work to your home where electricity is involved. If you come across any potential electrical hazards, contact an electrician immediately.