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Spring Forward…Safely


Love it or hate it, the switch to daylight saving time brings more opportunity to accomplish all those to-dos you’ve been putting off around the house or yard. Whether you take advantage of the extra sunshine to make energy-efficient home improvements, brighten up your garden or simply enjoy some fresh air, now is a good time to brush up on your outdoor safety knowledge. 

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’re holding – like a tree limb, ladder or even a kite – you will become a 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 to stay away and 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 and other wildlife 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 our tree-trimming practices, safety and when you should hire a professional at

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 tips, the National Safety Council suggests that time changes are good reminders to address indoor safety, such as replacing batteries in smoke detectors and reviewing 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 on outdoor safety can be found at And for info and tips on energy-efficiency upgrades that will help you reduce usage and keep more of your hard-earned cash, visit or check out our Energy Smart program.

New Orleans Editorial Team