Sensible Summer Safety Measures for Outdoor Electricity & Electronics
Amp up your summer fun by making sure your outdoor electronics are summer safe!
Some of the fondest, most fun-filled memories I have as a child are from the carefree days of summer. No school, no schedule, sleeping in, long days and homemade ice cream. Going to bed exhausted after climbing trees, swinging on ropes, exploring caves, swimming at the lake, sleeping in tents, racing down steep hills on my pieced-together spray-painted bike, and jumping off of the shed roof into a perfect S.W.A.T-team ground roll to rise up and expertly fire my slingshot, ultimately saving the hostages… and the free world as I knew it (you’re welcome).
Most would argue that things were much simpler then. And I would argue that most are correct (even though we did eat dirt, drink out of the milk jug, bathe in the same tub of water, and walk uphill through snow – both ways – to school). Perhaps, first and foremost, things were simpler (and safer) due to the fact that the presence of accessible outdoor electronics was a fraction of what it is today for our children and grandchildren. In fact, accidents are the #1 cause of injuries and death with children today. So what can we do to dot our i’s, cross our t’s, and protect our friends and families from electronic accidents this summer?
LAKES, POOLS & PONDS
Everyone knows that water and electricity can be a lethal combination when the electricity isn’t properly and professionally installed, protected, monitored and maintained. Electric Shock Drowning (ESD) is a little-known and often unidentified killer due to AC power from the shore not being properly grounded and ‘leaking’ into the water. The majority of ESD accidents occur in freshwater lakes and ponds near docks and boats that have faulty AC electrical connections.
- DO NOT do your own 120-volt AC electrical work on a boat or dock! Always call an electrician who is certified to ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council) standards.
- Make sure your children understand the importance of not swimming anywhere there could be electricity.
- NEVER swim within 100 yards of any freshwater marina or boatyard.
- DO NOT use common household extension cords for providing shore power to your boat. Use, and encourage other boaters to use, approved shore power cords built to UL standards.
- NEVER dive on your boat to work on underwater fittings when it is plugged in to shore power.
- NEVER swim within 100 yards of ANY dock using electrical power!
- When running a power cord from shore to charge your boat batteries, make sure the outlet has a GFCI and include an ELCI somewhere in the shore power cord.
UNDERGROUND & IMPROPERLY EXPOSED WIRES
Electrical AC wires that are not properly buried deep underground or are improperly installed and exposed within reach present extreme danger. This is often the case when installed by DIYers building their own decks, porches, gazebos, and outdoor kitchens as well as from very old structures that have not been brought up to code.
Listen. Your alfresco man cave is supposed to give you years of legal and primarily moral man fun with family, friends and neighbors. Don’t cut corners and risk accidental injury or death. Call a professional licensed electrician to handle the heavy work, ensuring your family’s safety and your self-indulgent enjoyment for years to come. Besides, the good electricians will also give you great recommendations to really amp up your man cave and be the envy of the neighborhood.
Also, no matter how long you’ve lived on your property, whenever using digging equipment always call before you dig! That is the only way to know where dangerous electrical wires are buried.
Seriously??!! Just STOP IT!
HOVERBOARDS, LAPTOPS & MORE, OH MY!
Today our homes include a plethora of new battery-powered devices. Smartphones, laptops, tablets, electronic cigarettes, electric cars, drones, hand-held vacuums, toys, and more inhabit every closet, drawer and corner of modern homes. While we embrace how these devices have improved our lives, we ignore that many are also capable of exploding because of battery malfunctions generally from Lithium-ion batteries.
Long battery runtimes have always been the desire of consumers. Lithium-ion cells with cobalt cathodes hold twice the energy of a nickel-based battery and four-times that of lead acid. Lithium-ion is a low maintenance system, an advantage that most other chemistries cannot claim. There is no battery memory and the battery does not require scheduled cycling to prolong its life.
The news is riddled with reports of exploding batteries. Many of these devices have been banned on flights and more. Considering the number of lithium-ion batteries used on the market, this energy storage system has caused little harm in terms of damage and personal injury. In spite of the good record, its safety is a hot topic that gets high media attention, even on a minor mishap. Be aware, be educated, and pay attention to the details.
The bottom line…
Summertime is for outdoor frolic and fun with family and friends. The last thing anyone wants is an unfortunate accident caused by your own apathy or negligence. Don’t go it alone. Leave the heavy lifting to the pros and always hire a professional licensed electrician to make your outdoor man space ROCK! That will free you up to focus your excellent efforts and mad skills on perfecting your rib rub, super sauce, grilling greatness… and your perfect S.W.A.T.-team ground roll!
There are some things we should just never outgrow.
Tagged:Outdoor lighting, Residential lighting, Electrical Contractor, Yard lighting, Patio lighting, Deck lighting, Outdoor bar, Outdoor kitchen, Electrical Safety, Outdoor Electric