Now that spring is here, catch up on your exercise and be sure to exercise caution when using outdoor electrical appliances, equipment and tools. While you re at it, make sure to steer clear of mother nature s own brand of electricity -- lightning. Here are some tips the Leviton Institute recommends to keep you safe from the dangers of electricity as you begin spending more time outdoors.
The proper amperage required by most tools and appliances is usually displayed somewhere on them; make sure the extension cord you re using is rated for this amperage. Check all power cords and extension cords for cracks or nicks before using them. Replace them with a new one if they show obvious signs of wear, taped-over cuts, broken plugs, etc. And when you re finished using them, be sure to put the cord and the appliance safely away.
It may seem obvious, but nevertheless it needs to be said: do not barbeque on an electric grill when it s raining, or even just drizzling. Be sure to unplug the grill before cleaning it, and, as with all outdoor appliances, make sure the receptacle it s plugged into is equipped with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) to prevent shock or electrocution. When setting up the grill, pick a safe location where there s no chance of it setting anything combustible alight.
With all the water in and around them, pools, hot tubs, and spas are dangerous areas for appliances and consumer electronics. Make sure all radios, TVs, blenders, etc. are clear of splashing or dripping water, and that all outlets nearby are GFCIequipped. If an electrical appliance falls into the water, shut off the circuit first before unplugging it. Don t reach into the water to get it.
If you see a storm approaching when you re outside, try to find shelter indoors; if that s not possible, get to a low area away from trees and crouch down. If you hear thunder seek shelter, even under a clear blue sky. If you re swimming in a pool, lake or the ocean, immediately swim to shore and find cover. If you re in a watercraft, immediately get to shore. Don t wait till the storm is on top of you; lightning can travel sideways up to ten miles. Avoid metal items like golf clubs or bats, as well as contact with water, either indoors or out. When indoors, stay away from windows, doors, and corded telephones. And don t forget your furry pet friends, either; dogs that are chained or in a doghouse are at great risk, too.
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