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Safety Tips for Summer Chores

 Safety Tips for Summer Chores

No matter the season, it seems there’s an endless list of chores, but outdoor chores present specific safety concerns.

For example, contacting power lines with ladders causes 9 percent of electrocution-related deaths each year. Landscaping, gardening and farming equipment cause another 7 percent.

To avoid electrical hazards, make sure you and your family follow these simple tips:

  • Teach children to stay away from electric transformers and substations, and explain what warning signs mean.
  • Avoid using electricity in damp conditions. Keep all electrical devices and cords away from water.
  • Place waterproof covers on all outdoor outlets.
  • Install ground-fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs, in outlets where water may be present.
  • Use only extension cords rated for outdoor use; match the power needs of an electric tool or appliance to the cord’s label information. Never attempt to extend the length of an extension cord by connecting it to another extension cord.
  • Dial 811, the national Call Before You Dig phone number, at least 72 hours before engaging in any type of excavation work. Local utilities will be notified to mark the approximate locations of any underground lines on your property.
  • Invest in safety goggles, hearing protection, dust masks, gloves and other personal protection equipment as recommended for each tool.
  • Always keep yourself and equipment at least 10 feet away from power lines.
  • Inspect power tools and appliances for frayed cords, broken plugs, and cracked or broken housings, and repair or replace damaged items.
  • Never leave power tools unattended where children can access them.
  • Store power tools indoors.
  • Unplug power tools when not in use.
  • Do not carry power tools by their cords.
  • Use only a fiberglass or wooden ladder if you must work near overhead wires. Always assess the area carefully to make sure any power lines are at least 10 feet away.
  • Never touch a person or object that has made contact with a power line.

Good safety habits can help make sure you and your family are safe and free to enjoy time outdoors.