Bethesda, MD, Electrician, Meyer Electrical
Written by Walt Meyer

Outdoor Electrical Safety Tips for Spring & Summer

Now that spring is here and summer is on its way, your family will be spending more time in the outdoor areas of your home. In contrast to indoor electrical components of your house, outdoor outlets and lighting fixtures experience a lot more wear and tear because of constantly being exposed to nature’s elements and weather extremes.

Despite the significant difference in conditions, homeowners often treat electrical indoor and outdoor electrical systems the same. Unfortunately, this carelessness can lead to unnecessary deadly hazards, especially because water and electricity do not mix.

The following are outdoor electrical safety basics that you should know to protect your family and home. Make sure to ask a licensed electrician to perform a safety inspection of your home’s outdoor areas for the best results.

Use the Proper Outlets

Providing protection from rain, snow, ice, and humidity, weather resistant (WR) receptacles are installed with weather protective covers. As mandated by the National Electrical Code (NEC) for all outdoor outlets, installing WR GFCI receptacles will protect loved ones and visitors from electric shock in your home’s outdoor areas where water is present.

Since they are constructed with corrosion resistant parts, WR outlets provide safety and long service lives that indoor outlets could not provide if installed outdoors. However, WR outlets still require simple maintenance, such as keeping them clean and free of debris.

Upgrade Outlets When Necessary

If you live in an older home that is several decades old, the original builder and previous homeowners may not have installed GFCI outlets in the outdoor areas. This situation may lead to serious injury or even death from electric shock.

Ask a licensed electrician to perform a safety inspection of your home’s outdoor electrical system and ensure that all outdoor electrical outlets are GFCI equipped.    

Use Extension Cords Safely

Indoor extension cords are not designed to be safely used outdoors. They are often not rated for the capacity required by lawn maintenance equipment and outdoor power tools.

When you do use outdoor-rated extension cords, make sure they are undamaged and do not allow them to contact wet areas.

Avoid Unsafe Outdoor Electrical Usage

When there is an approaching storm, stop any outdoor activity involving electrical devices and equipment, turn everything off and store the equipment indoors.

Electrical Services You Can Trust

Founded in 1991, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured. Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.