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Springing safely in the new season
Enjoy longer, warmer days with these safety tips for home and outdoors
Daylight saving time is approaching, meaning the days are getting warmer and longer. Whether you want to start your spring cleaning or simply enjoy nice weather in the great outdoors, staying safe is important.
As you set the clocks forward and soak in the sun, here are some ways to protect yourself and your home 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 encounter a power line through your body - or an object you are 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 see a downed line or a tree branch that is 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.
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 outdoor safety, the National Safety Council suggests addressing indoor safety is just as important during a time change. Consider 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.
Visit our website on more safety tips for residential or outdoor projects.