Mishaps that might spoil your Father’s Day fun

Falling close to the first days of summer, Father’s Day is a day that’s frequently celebrated with a barbeque, picnic or pool party. In preparing for your festivities, you may need to run extension cords for entertainment, cooking and tidying up around the house before your guests arrive.

All of this means the use of outdoor electrical connections, which you should always undertake with the utmost of caution. To ensure your celebration isn’t spoiled by an electrical mishap, follow these safety tips:

Electric grilling: When using an electric grill, avoid using it in the rain or near combustible items. To prevent the risk of electrical shock, plug your grill into a GFCI-protected outlet. Always unplug it before cleaning it and when you’re not using it.

Landscaping: Inspect your electric gardening equipment for frayed cords and damage plug before you use it and make the necessary repairs or replacements. Be sure to keep children a safe distance away when using gardening equipment.

Using Indoor Appliances Outside: When using an extension cord to plug in stereos, appliances and power tools, be sure to use a three-pronged grounding plug marked for outdoor use. Never use an extension cord rated for indoor use outside. When using electrical equipment, always work closest to the outlet and then move away, keeping the cord behind you to prevent it from becoming entangled.

Repairs: Some outdoor projects require the use of an aluminum extension ladder, which conducts electricity. Always apply caution when using power tools and standing on an aluminum ladder. When securing loose siding, adding a window box, plant hanger or installing a light fixture, make sure there is no electrical wiring running behind the wall you’re working on before drilling or installing nails or screws. Always plug power tools into a GFCI-protected outlet.

Use a stud finder to confirm that you are not cutting into a stud. There are also voltage detectors that will indicate the presence of live electrical wires. These tools are relatively inexpensive and help you avoid a potentially hazardous accident. If a tool you’re using comes in contact with a live wire you could be shocked, burned or worse.

Keeping Children Safe: Keep children away from power tools, mowers and outdoor electrical appliances. Never let them bring electrical devices near a pool or wet area. Don’t allow then to fly a kite during stormy weather or near power lines. If you live near an electrical substation, make sure you teach your children not to play near the area.

Cindy Williams41 Posts

Cindy Williams is the Meadowlark Extension District agent in the areas of food and nutrition.

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