Summer Electrical Safety Tips for Kids

Summer Electrical Safety Tips for Kids - Brubaker Inc.

While summer is looking a little different than we expected, there’s still going to be plenty of swimming, barbecues, and relaxing indoors. But with all of the extra activity at home comes the added potential for electrical accidents. With summer in swing, let’s take a moment to learn some important summer electrical safety tips.

Electrical Safety Tips for Kids

  • Never touch an electrical appliance while wet.
  • Don’t leave cords lying around where people could trip on them.
  • Check the plug and cord of anything before plugging it in. If it looks damaged, point it out to an adult. Loose or damaged electrical cords should be repaired or replaced immediately.
  • Never plug anything into an outlet that isn’t an electrical plug.
  • Always use the base of the cord to plug and unplug devices. Be careful not to stick your fingers on the metal prongs.
  • Never use water on an electrical or oil fire.
  • Never play around electrical plants, substations, transmission towers, electrical fences, or climb on utility poles. Stay away from any area that says “Danger: high Voltage.”
  • Avoid climbing trees that are near power lines.
  • Stay far away from downed power lines. Getting near a power line on the ground could kill you. Tell an adult right away if you see a downed power line.
  • Bulbs and lights should be screwed securely or tightly. Otherwise, they may cause short circuits or sparks. Also ensure that the bulbs you’ll use have the right wattage that’s appropriate to the outlets. Using lighting that’s higher than what’s recommend may cause the fixture to overheat and result to accidents.
  • Find shelter during a thunderstorm. Always get out of the water if you see lightning or hear thunder.
  • Call 911 if you or anyone you know has been or is being electrocuted.

Electrical Safety Tips for the Swimming Pool

Every year there are electrocutions, electrical shocks, and deaths caused by electrical hazards around swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs. Raising awareness about electrical hazards is important for reducing these tragic episodes.

Take some time to go over these electrical safety tips for the swimming pool: 

  1. Make sure that no electric lines are over the pool and that all TV antennas are at least 10 feet away from electric lines.
  2. Do not place any electrical equipment like a stereo system anywhere near the pool. All electrical devices and cords should be kept a minimum of 10 feet away from all water sources.
  3. Always have GFCI outlets and covers installed for any outdoor outlets, especially nears pools and spas.
  4. If you are caught in the swimming pool during a lightning storm, get out immediately and stay away from trees. Go indoors and keep clear of the windows.
  5. If you are using an outdoor grill, make sure to follow all manufacturer instructions and inspect equipment, including wires and hoses before use. 6. Teach children about electrical safety. Visit the ESFI Kids’ Corner – a one-stop resource for teachers, educators, parents, and students. 
  6. Make sure all electrical equipment is grounded.
  7. Never touch or handle electrical equipment while wet from the pool or perspiration.
  8. To avoid any electrical malfunctions that could result in electrocution or serious electrical shock, have a qualified electrician inspect your pool, spa, or hot tub.

10 Electrical Safety Tips for Summer

Summer Electrical Safety Tips for Kids - Brubaker Inc.

  1. If you have a summer project that includes digging, always call 811to make sure you won’t be disrupting any utility lines. Call in advance of any digging project.
  2. Test your GFCI outlets once a month: push the “reset” button; plug in a light and turn it on; push the “test” button (the light should turn off); push the “reset” button again (the light should turn back on). If your GFCI outlet is not working, contact an electrician.
  3. If it’s wet outside, even if it is just dew, avoid using your power tools. All electrical devices should be at least 10 feet from any moisture sources, such as your pool and sprinklers. In a flood situation, never stand in water while in contact with any electrical outlets, equipment, or breaker boxes. For more electrical safety tips during a flood, see these disaster safety tips from ESFI
  4. Make sure all surge protectors are UL certified and all electrical tools and extension cords are marked for outdoor use
  5. Stay at least 10 feet away from all power lines—electricity can jump to nearby objects. If you are thinking about planting a tree near a power line, speak with a professional first. And remember, call 811 before you dig—sometimes power lines are located underground.
  6. During a storm and power outage you may be tempted to run a backup generator indoors. NEVER run a generator indoors or in partly enclosed areas – the exhaust contains carbon monoxide, an odorless and colorless gas that can kill in a matter of minutes.
  7. Extension cords are a great tool for temporary projects, but you should never try to use an extension cord permanently or semi-permanently. Also, make sure that the extension cord you are using outdoor is rated “For Outdoor Use.” Additionally, never try to extend the length of your extension cord with another extension cord. Like with surge protectors, look for the UL label, Intertek or CSA.
  8. Store all gas propane tanks in a safe, upright position outdoors. “It’s against the fire code to place a propane tank larger than one pound in an enclosed area,” says Michael Caldarera, vice president of regulatory and technical services for the National Propane Gas Association. “It’s possible for a leak in a tank to cause an explosion.” This flammable gas must be kept at least five feet from your house, according to the fire code. 
  9. Make sure all electrical equipment used for swimming pools, including the cleaning equipment, is grounded.
  10. When storing electrical cords and devices, use a protective container to prevent exposure to moisture and damage by animals.

The Importance of Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms have saved millions of lives for more than 35 years. They remain one of the most effective ways to keep a household safe from fire. In addition to installing smoke alarms and establishing a family safety drill, make sure that you take precautions with the kids. Speak with them about the potential danger of sleeping through an alarm and take the various supplemental steps that need to be taken to ensure they are warned in a timely manner.

Electrical Warning Signs

  • Frequently flickering or dimming lights
  • Burning odor of plastic or vinyl from outlet
  • Sparks from outlet
  • Recurring tripped circuit breakers/blown fuses
  • Outlet or switch doesn’t work
  • Switches/outlets warm to the touch
  • Slight shock or tingling sensation when an appliance is touched
  • Switches/outlets burned or discolored
  • Switches/outlets making noises
  • Frayed or chewed wiring

Basement Electrical Safety Checklist

  • Look for the sticker on your breaker box that tells you when the last home electrical inspection took place. If it’s been more than a year, schedule another one.
  • Label your breakers with the areas of the home they correspond to.
  • Replace any damaged or corroded breakers/fuses.
  • Make sure your washer and dryer has enough room for proper air circulation.
  • Remove dryer lint after every dry cycle.
  • Inspect and clean your dryer vent at least once a year.
  • Make sure your furnace and fireplace/chimney has been professionally inspected, cleaned, and that it has proper ventilation to the outside.
  • Inspect the area around the water heater to make sure there aren’t any leaks. We recommend turning your water heater temperature down from the standard 140 degrees to a safer and more efficient 120 degrees.

Surge Protection

Summer Electrical Safety Tips for Kids - BrubUnexpected power surges can strike at any time; sources range from your own utility provider to storms and appliances. The surges can fry computer hardware, and damage thermostats and appliances. Brubaker Inc. technicians can professionally install a surge-protection system specifically designed to your home’s needs. These whole-home surge protectors are best used in conjunction with plug-in surge protectors, especially for sensitive electronics like computers.

Professional Electrical Safety Inspection

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi), “Home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year, nearly than 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage.” Many of these would have been avoidable with a basic electrical inspection.

ESFi electrical fire statistics:

  • Electrical systems are the third leading cause of residential fires.
  • Every year in the US, arcing faults are responsible for starting more than 28,000 residential fires, killing and injuring hundreds of people, and causing over 700 million in property damage.
  • The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that electrical receptacles are involved in 5,300 fires every year.
  • 65 percent of residential fire deaths result from homes with no working smoke detectors.

According to reports, electrical problems are among the top causes of fire accidents at home and it’s not surprising at all. Short circuits, loose connections, overloaded electrical systems and fuses as well as frayed cords are often the culprits that bring about millions of dollars’ worth of property damages due to fire every year.

Keeping this tragic thought in mind, it is only wise that homeowners follow electrical safety tips that will lessen, if not totally eradicate, the occurrence of accidents involving electrical system failures.

Basement Electrical Safety Checklist

  • Look for the sticker on your breaker box that tells you when the last home electrical inspection took place. If it’s been more than a year, schedule another one.
  • Label your breakers with the areas of the home they correspond to.
  • Replace any damaged or corroded breakers/fuses.
  • Make sure your washer and dryer has enough room for proper air circulation.
  • Remove dryer lint after every dry cycle.
  • Inspect and clean your dryer vent at least once a year.
  • Make sure your furnace and fireplace/chimney has been professionally inspected, cleaned, and that it has proper ventilation to the outside.
  • Inspect the area around the water heater to make sure there aren’t any leaks. We recommend turning your water heater temperature down from the standard 140 degrees to a safer and more efficient 120 degrees.

Brubaker Inc. is available for safe and professional service 24 hours a day. Our technicians wear one-time-use shoe covers and disposable gloves while working in any areas of your home. We’ll make sure your electrical system is safe for summer.

No matter how up-to-date your electrical system may be, your Central Pennsylvania home is vulnerable to storms that can cut power to your home. Brubaker Inc. offers free backup generator estimates. Shop our line of Generac and Honeywell generators so you never have to worry about losing power again. We can provide information on the best available model to suit your needs.

Your family’s safety is a priority for us, and we have the experience, the specialists and the expertise to get the job done — whatever your electrical needs. For fast, safe, and professional home service solutions in the Central Pennsylvania area, rely on Brubaker Inc. We’re available 24/7 for all your heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical needs.