Dangerous Electrical Hazards in Your Backyard

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Where are homeowners most likely to get injured? Although the answer varies, a staggering number of U.S. residents take steps to prevent electrical and fire hazards indoors only. This is a critical mistake. Adults and children are just as likely to suffer from burns and electrocutions in their own backyards. Follow these important outdoor electrical safety guidelines to prevent serious injury:

Steer Clear of Power Lines

Power lines can be incredibly dangerous. In rare circumstances, residents can suffer from electrical burns and shocks without even coming into direct contact with power lines. Here’s what you need to know about power line safety:

  • Think twice when moving ladders. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) warns residents to keep ladders a minimum of 10 feet from live power lines at all times. Always use caution, even when carrying or handling wooden ladders. Homeowners can still suffer from power line-related injuries while carrying or climbing a ladder made out of wood, the NFPA adds.
  • Know where to find underground power lines before digging. Adults can easily recognize power lines above ground. Many do not realize that lines may also be buried several under the ground, too. Call the NFPA’s free “Before You Dig” hotline to prevent serious accidents.

Weather-Proof Outdoor Outlets, Electrical Cords, and Fences

Homeowners need to take extra precautions when operating outdoor lighting or using power tools. Outdoor cords, outlets, or even products temporarily used outside are especially vulnerable to electrical hazards. Residents can take simple steps to weather-proof outdoor electrical wiring and outlets. Consumers should carefully cover outdoor wiring — and cables and cords in attics, basements, and garages, too — with conduit. Flexible or rigid conduit protects electrical cords from rain, snow, ice, and small animals’ sharp teeth. Metal conduit also shield circuits from harmful electromagnetism. Consumers should use metal conduit with some form of conduit bushing; conduit bushing prevents cords from snagging or ripping on jagged metal pieces. Homeowners can secure conduit to posts or railings using sturdy cable ties and cable tie guns.

Finally, use nylon cap nuts on fences to protect external threads from weatherization, corrosion, and wear; fitting fences with plastic cap nuts will prevent cuts and injuries from rusted metal.

Electrical injuries can be just as severe — and life-threatening — just outside of your home. Stay safe while working and relaxing in yards by carefully keeping a distance from power lines and weather-proofing outdoor electrical cords. Read more blogs like this.

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