Love it or hate it, we will be moving clocks ahead and planning spring projects when daylight saving time starts this weekend. Whether you are taking advantage of the extra sunshine to make home improvements, garden or enjoy some fresh air, now is a good time to brush up on your outdoor safety knowledge.
“Taking time to understand electrical safety and watching out for safety hazards is just as important for our customers at home as it is for our employees in the field,” said Stuart Barrett, vice president of customer service for Entergy Texas, Inc. “We have tips, do-it-yourself advice and other resources available to help you accomplish your spring projects safely.”
Here are a few suggestions for how you can protect yourself and your home while sprucing up this spring:
Keep an eye on your surroundings
- Look up and out for overhead power lines. Staying away from power lines is one of the most important ways you can stay safe when you are outdoors. Overhead power lines carry thousands of volts of electricity and are not insulated, making them deadly to touch. If you come in contact with a power line through your body - or an object you are holding, like a tree limb, ladder or even a kite – you will become at path for the electricity to find the ground.
- Always assume power lines are electrified, even if they are down or underground and do not spark or hum. If you do see a downed line or a tree branch that is dangerously close to a power line, the safest thing to do is call 1-800-ENTERGY.
- Remember, water and electricity do not mix. Keep electrical appliances and power cords away from wet areas. And never touch electrical cords or appliances if you’re wet or standing in water.
Work with nature, not against it.
- Plant the right trees in the right place. When adding new trees to your landscaping, consider placement and tree height at maturity, and avoid planting trees that will grow tall under power lines or in an area where they could damage your home in a storm.
- Believe it or not, many power outages are caused by wildlife. Squirrels like to travel along power lines and tree limbs, which can give them access to make your attic their home sweet home and potentially short out transformers in the process. Do not invite them over; keep tree limbs trimmed away from power lines and buildings. Learn more about Entergy’s tree trimming practices and when you should hire a professional.
Remember what you cannot see can hurt you.
- Call before you dig. It is important to know what is underground before you begin any project that requires digging. Hitting an electric line can shock or kill you and cause power outages. When you call 811, the local one-call utility locator service, they will mark the location of underground utilities so you can carry on with digging safely.
- Let the light shine. Make sure your outdoor lighting adequately illuminates walkways to prevent tripping hazards after dark and that your bulbs are intended for outdoor use. If you need to replace them, opt for energy efficient bulbs to help light the way to lower bills.
In addition to these outdoor safety reminders, the National Safety Council suggests that dates of time change are good dates to address indoor safety, such as replacing batteries in smoke detectors and covering your home emergency plans with family. Smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years and carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every five years, but batteries for both should be replaced every year.
More safety tips for painting, pool maintenance and other outdoor projects can be found on our website.
Entergy Texas, Inc. provides electricity to more than 450,000 customers in 27 counties. Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 9,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of approximately $11 billion and more than 13,000 employees.