Electrical Safety Tips to Get You Through the Summer

electrical safety tips during the summer

Did you know that according to Electrical Safety Foundation International, home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year, nearly 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage? The summer months are filled with fun outdoor activities with family and friends, but you should always be aware of the dangers of outdoor electrical usage.

Here are some tips to keep everyone safe this summer!

Around the Pool

Remember, water and electricity don’t mix!

  • Keep all electrical cords away from water.
  • Be on the lookout for underwater lights that are not working properly, flicker or work intermittently.
  • Make sure all outdoor outlets have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) – Especially around the pool.
  • Do not swim before or after thunderstorms.

Lightning

Remember, lightning most often strikes people who work outside or engage in outdoor recreational activities.

  • Be careful if you get caught in a summer storm.
  • Almost 100 people die each year from lightning related incidents, and another 500 are severely injured.
  • If a thunderstorm is approaching, be sure to go indoors and stay there till the storm has passed.
  • If there is no shelter, crunch low, with as little of your body touching the ground, and always with your feet together. If you have to move, hop on one foot to avoid providing a difference in potential between one foot and the other.
  • Never seek shelter under a tree.

Extension Cords

Note: Extension cords are only a temporary solution!

  • Never attempt to extend the length of an extension cord by connecting it with another extension cord.
  • Check extension cords for any damage before using.
  • Only use extension cords if they have been marked for outdoor use.

Electrical Safety: Baby Proofing Outlets

shutterstock_135339197I never understood a baby’s fascination with outlets until I became a father myself. I don’t know what it is about electrical outlets, but babies love them. Maybe it’s because they see you plugging in an appliance and want to imitate you. Maybe it’s because outlets look like little faces, just waiting to be fed something.

My anxiety was skyrocketing. It appeared my little crawling drool monster would find her way to an outlet and find anything to jam into the socket! It made my wife and I crazy!

A light-bulb went off in my mind. I said to my wife, “As soon as we make settlement on the new home – I am going to replace all child level outlets with tamper resistant receptacles!”  To save my wife and I from the stress of chasing a speedy infant around each room, I did just that (while she did everything else)!

If you are planning to expand your family or are expecting, you should consider having your receptacles changed to tamper resistant receptacles and I will explain why.

Our second child is daddy’s little girl! She likes to take things apart and see exactly how they work. It wasn’t long until she figured out how to get through the plastic child-locks on everything.  The toilet, cabinets, baby gates, you name it – there was no stopping this little one and her desire to explore everything, including the plastic outlet safety covers on the electrical sockets, even while she was on a playdate!

So how do tamper resistant receptacles work? Both slots in a tamper resistant receptacle have spring-loaded shutters over them that are interconnected. Unless pressure is applied to both slots at the same time, they will not open, so a child trying to stick a small object into a slot will be unsuccessful.

Of course, you can always use the plastic baby-proofing covers that require a screwdriver to remove and/or break nails in the process. However, I can’t tell you how many times I have seen these on floors or simply misplaced. Therefore, I advocate for tamper resistant receptacles, to make it easier on ourselves and all parents to protect our babies from being shocked by a receptacle.

Farryn Electric is your guide when it comes to electrical features and services. If you have any questions about our services, you may contact us here or call us at (484) 316-0449.

An Electrician’s Love for Landscape Lighting

Do waiters that work at a 5-star restaurant dine at other restaurants? I would have to imagine so. When they do, do they accept what is put in front of them? Is it acceptable to them? Do they simply shrug their shoulders with the expectation that the food will always be worse than what they are accustomed to? Do they even care?

As an electrician and a lover of landscape lighting design, I analyze every home I drive past. I’m obsessed with how a home looks at night. Like a menu in a chain restaurant, many of us live in a neighborhood that “serves” homes that all look alike. The one variable is our yards, our landscaping. No one’s home is the same, in that regard!

Some homes that I drive by are lit with exquisite lighting, placed perfectly, with the proper amount of both light and darkness. A 5-star meal to my eyes. Others are dark, uninviting and certainly not safe. The absolute worst thing I have witnessed is improperly placed lights, a rare filet burnt to a crisp when you paid a good deal of money for 5-star service! Or, the dreaded commercial light in the center of the front yard, shining on a beautiful Main Line home as if it were a billboard in the middle of the Las Vegas strip. We have all found “the hair in the food”, no?

So how do you make your home’s landscape lighting the perfectly cooked filet at your favorite restaurant? Firstly, ask the person who is proposing the project if they understand photometrics, temperature color and beam spread. If they say no to any of these questions, please find an electrician who does. Secondly, ask them if they provide lights and bulbs with a no hassle lifetime warranty. If they say no, look somewhere else. Thirdly, ask them if they know how to spread the lighting load evenly so that every light has the same intensity. You know what to do if they say no!

The exterior of your home and the plantings that surround it deserve the 5-star treatment. Your home may look just like your neighbors, but with the proper lighting, it will be that 5-star restaurant to your neighbor’s local chain. Beautify, offer security, distinguish through proper landscape lighting and you and your home will be the envy of the neighborhood!

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