KREMC’s Fall Guide to Leaf Cleanup and Electrical Safety
As the leaves begin to change colors and the crisp autumn air sets in, it's the perfect time to tackle that yearly chore we all know and love: leaf cleanup. While it may seem like a straightforward task, it's important to remember that working in your yard during the fall season can bring about a unique set of electrical safety concerns. Today, we're going to dive into some essential tips to ensure you stay safe while sprucing up your surroundings.
1. Plan and Prepare
Before you start your leaf cleanup journey, take a moment to plan and prepare for the task at hand.
Ensure you pick a clear, dry day to avoid slippery conditions and minimize the risk of electrical accidents due to wet equipment.
Examine your leaf blowers, rakes, and extension cords for any signs of damage. Faulty equipment can pose serious electrical hazards.
Always remember to call 811 to have the professionals locate underground utility lines in your yard before digging or using heavy equipment.
2. Mind the Power Lines
One of the most critical aspects of fall yard work is understanding the proximity of power lines. Stay at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines while using tall equipment like ladders, pruners, or even long-handled rakes.
Always be vigilant and watch for overhead power lines when you're working with tall equipment. It's easy to get absorbed in the task and forget to check your surroundings.
When working near power lines or overhead wires, opt for non-metallic tools. Metal can conduct electricity, increasing the risk of electric shock if they come into contact with a live wire.
3. Safe Extension Cord Usage
Extension cords are a common tool during fall yard work. To use them safely, select an extension cord that is suitable for outdoor use, and make sure it can handle the electrical load of your equipment. Before plugging them in, examine extension cords for frays, cracks, or exposed wires. Any damage should be repaired or replaced immediately.
Never overload extension cords or power strips, as this can lead to overheating and potential fire hazards.
4. Be Cautious with Tree Trimming
Trimming trees and bushes can be an integral part of your fall yard work. Hire a professional to do this work when necessary. If your tree trimming project involves branches near power lines, a qualified professional will ensure the safety.
Even when trimming small branches, maintain a safe distance from power lines, as branches can conduct electricity.
5. Emergency Preparedness
Lastly, always be prepared for unexpected situations. Keep a first-aid kit and a fire extinguisher nearby while working in the yard.
Also, familiarize yourself with the location of your home's main electrical panel and know how to switch off power in case of emergencies.
Fall yard work can be a rewarding and enjoyable activity, but it's essential to prioritize safety while undertaking these tasks. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a hazard-free environment for you and your loved ones. Remember, your safety is our priority here at Kosciusko REMC, so have a wonderful time sprucing up your yard this autumn. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns regarding electrical safety.