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What is Needed for Safe Outdoor Electricity?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 17, 2024
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Electricity is an invaluable resource. However, it is also very dangerous. Often, individuals take care when handling electricity indoors, yet fail to take the necessary precautions outdoors. To enjoy the use of outdoor electricity, it is necessary to pay special attention to safety.

First and foremost, it is important to use ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets for outdoor electricity. GFCI outlets automatically disconnect electricity if a device begins to leak power. This is incredibly important for outdoor electricity, as water and electrical current are often in close proximity outdoors. GFCI outlets are reasonably priced, yet lifesaving.

When handling outdoor electricity, avoid water at all costs. If an electrical tool, device, or appliance falls into a water source, unplug it before you attempt to remove it from the water. This is an important safety precaution to follow, whether the body of water is a swimming pool or a small puddle. Be sure to store your outdoor electrical equipment in a dry place.

Many individuals use outdoor electricity to power things like lawn mowers and garden tools. Avoid leaving such devices plugged in when not in use. Turn the power off when you’re not using them, even if you are just going inside for a minute. Avoid leaving outdoor electrical equipment unattended.

Often, individuals choose to install outdoor lighting around their homes. Whether the lights are for seasonal or year-round use, make certain they are certified for outdoor use. If you choose to use lights that are not labeled for outdoor use, you are taking an unnecessary risk.

Believe it or not, shoes are necessary for using outdoor electricity safely. Without shoes, you are more at risk of electrical shock. Avoid wearing sandals as well.

Always follow manufacturer instructions carefully when working with outdoor electrical devices. Also, pay close attention to the condition of the device you are using and its cord. If the device becomes damaged or the cord is frayed, don't plug it in. Damaged electrical devices put you at risk of shock.

If you need to use an extension cord outside, be sure to obtain one that is labeled for outdoor use. Make certain it is marked for the power needs of the tools or equipment you’re using. Likewise, use only tools, appliances, and devices that are labeled for outdoor use. Equipment designed for outdoor use is made with heavy-duty wiring, insulation, and three-way grounding.

Above all, learn the steps to take in the event of a fire involving outdoor electricity. Observe all safety precautions. Stay away from downed electrical wires. Avoid trimming branches that have come in contact with power lines.

If you are using a ladder, be sure it stays clear of power lines at all times. Whenever possible, use a fiberglass or wooden ladder in tasks involving outdoor electricity. Be ready to call for emergency help if needed.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By anon356862 — On Nov 29, 2013

A safety first working environment is the first priority required when it comes to electrical services. Being committed to safe working practices with no risks to property and materials is an essential part.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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