SALT LAKE CITY-- As the summer season continues, many more activities move out of doors in the warm weather. Electrical safety hazards can be found many places and Rocky Mountain Power reminds its customers to be alert for safety issues outside this time of year. Parents and other adults also can take these summertime opportunities to teach children about electrical safety.
“Because more activities occur outside the house during summer months, there are a few areas that require additional attention this time of year,” said Mike Felice, Rocky Mountain Power safety director.
Power lines: Always keep people and any equipment at least 10 feet away from all power lines. Be sure to locate play equipment such as swing sets, slides and trampolines a safe distance away from power lines. Placement should be such that children are more than 10 feet from power lines when playing or jumping on the equipment.
Keep balloons, especially Mylar balloons, away from power lines. Mylar balloons have a metallic coating that conducts electricity and can cause power outages and personal injury.
Before planting trees near a power line, check to make sure there’s enough space for it to grow. Detailed information is available from Rocky Mountain Power at www.rockymountainpower.net/trees.
Power lines also are buried underground. Call 811 before digging. This free service that will locate all underground utilities 48 hours prior to digging as required in all states.
Outdoor outlets: Install ground fault circuit interrupters on all outdoor electrical outlets. These will automatically cut power when a plugged in item comes in contact with water. Install weatherproof boxes or covers on outdoor outlets.
Extension Cords: Never use an indoor extension cord outdoors. Outdoor cords will be labeled “For Outdoor Use” and are often orange. Never attempt to extend the length of an extension cord by connecting it to another extension cord.
Be sure the extension cord is rated higher than the amperage of the electrical product being used. Use only those extension cords that have the mark of a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as UL, Intertek or CSA.
Extension cords provide a temporary solution only and should not be used long-term or permanently
Generators: When in use, position generators outside and away from doors, windows and vents. Make sure the generator is properly grounded. Make sure a home is properly equipped with carbon monoxide alarms and test them monthly.
Do not plug generators directly into a home outlet without a transfer switch installed by a licensed electrician. The transfer switch will prevent electrical back feed onto the utility system which could harm utility line workers making repairs.
“The summer season is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities,” Felice said. “We encourage the public to take advantage of all the seasonal and safety information available on our website.”
For more safety tips and information about tree planting, see Rocky Mountain Power’s website at www.rockymountainpower.net/safety or call customer service toll free at 1-888-221-7070.