Friday, September 26, 2014

Electrical Safety in Your Garden

It may be funny to see someone take a shot of 110 volt electricity in the movies, but it can be a life-threatening situation in real life. It is not likely to curl your hair and make you laugh. It can stop your heart and cause death. You should always exercise caution when working with and around electricity. Safety is not something you want to scrimp and save a few pennies on and leave you or your family open to serious injury. Below are a few ways to protect both property and health when it comes to electricity in garden areas.

The Basics of Up and Down

When working in and around a garden you may find the need to trim trees or dig down to install posts. You need to be aware of all electrical lines both above your head and below your feet. You should always call to have electrical and other service lines that are buried marked clearly so that you know where to safely dig. You should hire a professional service to trim tree branches that are close to electrical lines. They will have the equipment and knowledge to do this job safely.

Electrical Equipment Safety

Using equipment for weed trimming and grass management that is electrical requires a few extra precautions. If you need to do gardening work near pools or outdoor ponds then you need to make sure that the cords and equipment stay well clear of the water. Inadvertent contact can mean electrocution injury. It can also be a danger of cutting into the cord if you are not always aware of where it is in proximity to the cutting blade of any equipment you are using. Tie a series of brightly colored cloth strips to the cord to help keep your attention focused on where the cord is resting at any given moment.

Wiring, Cords and Connections

How wiring is handled outdoors in garden areas depends on whether you are using a source for a temporary purpose, or you are needing a permanent source installed. You should keep all electrical wiring a safe distance from pools, ponds, sprinklers and water faucets. Permanent wires should be professionally installed by certified electricians. They will need to be an acceptable grade to handle the juice you are needing to pull through them. Plugs should be properly grounded and have covers to protect them from moisture.
If you are looking to place temporary lighting for seasonal entertaining then you may want to save some money and use extension cords. You need to make sure that they are designed for outdoor use and are capable of carrying the load demand that you need. Never use a series of extension cords attached to each other for a longer reach. Each connection that is exposed to the elements can become corroded from moisture and short out. Buy the proper length of high quality extension cord and run it through areas away from water and foot traffic. Never remove the third ground bar on the plug.

Proper Storage

You should remove seasonal lighting and cords when they will not be used for extended periods of time, such as the winter months. Inspect them for cracks and damage before putting them away in a dry area. Leaving extension cords out in cold weather can mean they get damaged sooner. The varying harsh temperatures of winter can make their surface brittle and crack easier. It is worth a little bit of extra work to put them up in winter.

A few simple steps and taking stock of your equipment and electrical sources can save you money and injury. Keep your garden area the safe and relaxing environment you have always meant for it to be.