Electrical Do’s and Don’t for the Change of Seasons
As you set your clocks ahead an hour in observance of the “Spring Forward” season change, you’re likely thinking about the future.
Spring is here… summer’s on the way… and whether it’s exciting travel, or the kind of enjoyment you get from a Colorado “stay-cation,” you’re starting to make big plans (if you haven’t already made them).
It’s a good bet that your home’s electrical system – and the safety, comfort, and convenience that system brings to your life and to the lives of your family members – is not the top thing on your mind!
But before things heat up too much, think about taking a Spring “break” from your warm-weather day dreams, and taking a new look at your property’s power.
Your home’s electrical system needs attention every now and then. Once or twice a year, you should get things checked out and, where necessary, brought up-to-snuff.
And the departure of a long winter season, during which you might’ve been “cooped up,” is a great time to get out and take a look at all things electrical.
Here Are Some Things You Should DO To Welcome Spring…
DO make an appointment to have your qualified electrician come out and give your power system a good healthy check-up, inside and outside the house. Outdoors, have your electrician take a look at your landscape lighting, your outdoor wiring and appliances, and any water features out there (a pool, a hot tub, or a decorative pond). And inside the house, have your electrical panel (“breaker box”), lighting, and wiring checked, and get advice on how you’re using plug-in appliances and outlets. While the weather warms, the last thing you want is for an electrical fire to heat things up in your house!
DO make yourself aware of the power lines on or around your property. Remind yourself to exercise extreme caution with both overhead and buried power cables. Stay off the ladder near the electrical lines… and call before you dig.
DO have a talk with the kids about electrical safety. Remind them to be careful with outdoor devices, and never to leave power cords or electrical toys near water. Make sure they’re proficient enough with remote-control aircraft toys and kites to keep them away from overhead lines… and no digging projects without express permission!
DO make sure your timers – indoors and out – are set to the right time and functioning properly. This includes controls for your irrigation system, outdoor (and indoor) lighting, and home comfort (HVAC) system. Remember: you have more daylight to work with this time of year, so you’ll probably need to adjust the timing so that you’re not wasting electricity by illuminating your property in broad daylight.
DO think electrical safety when it’s time to undertake your Spring cleaning chores. Refrigerator coils, range hoods, and dryer vents are often overlooked… but cleaning those around this time of year is a great way to minimize the danger of an electrical fire in your home.
… And, Of Course, There Are Some DON’Ts
DON’T turn things on until you know they’re safe. Your electrician can help assure you that the pumps in your water features are good-to-go before you fill those reservoirs. Your irrigation company will check out the sprinkler system at turn-on time… but if you have any doubts, have the electrician check out that system, too. And these are just a few examples. Better safe than sorry!
DON’T leave power tools or power cords near water… and make sure the cords you’re using outside are the insulated type designed for that use.
DON’T mow the lawn when the grass is wet, or when there’s any standing water in the area.
DON’T plant “permanent” things like trees and shrubs near the electrical housing in your yard (the big green metal box)… and don’t put a shed too close to it, either. Be kind to the utility workers who will occasionally need access to the housing.
And DON’T leave indoor outlets and circuits overloaded. It’s a good time to check every room in the house to make sure no one has too many devices plugged into a single power source.
Think about your property’s electrical system at the change of seasons. Giving some thought to the safety and effectiveness of your home’s power every now and then… once or twice a year, and especially at the beginning of Spring… will help ensure that electricity is not something you and your family have to think about all the time. Enjoy the season!