Today marks the official arrival of spring and along with enjoying warmer weather and flowering landscapes, it is time for spring cleaning and outdoor home improvement projects. Before tackling these chores, be sure to brush up on your outdoor safety knowledge.
Here are a few tips to protect yourself and your home this spring:
- Look up and out for overhead power lines. Staying away from power lines is one of the main ways to stay safe when outdoors. Overhead power lines carry thousands of volts of electricity, making them deadly to touch. If you come in contact with a power line or an object you are holding touches the line, you will become a path for electricity to find the ground.
- Always assume power lines are energized, even if they are down or underground. They do not have to spark or hum to be deadly. If you do see a downed line or a tree branch that is dangerously close to a power line, call 1-800-ENTERGY.
- Remember, water and electricity do not mix. Keep electrical appliances and power cords away from wet areas. Never touch electrical cords or appliances if you are wet or standing in water.
- Plant the right tree in the right place. When adding trees to your landscaping, consider placement and tree height at maturity. Avoid planting trees that will grow tall under power lines or in an area where they could damage your home in a storm.
- Don’t encourage wildlife! Animals often cause power outages. Squirrels like to travel along power lines and tree limbs, which can give them access to your attic and potentially short out transformers in the process. Discourage this by keeping tree limbs trimmed away from power lines and buildings.
- Call before you dig. 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 dig safely.
- Let the light shine. Make sure outdoor lighting 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 that can help lower bills.
Spring is also a good time to refresh items in your emergency supply kits at home, in the office and in the car. Items may have expired or been used and not replaced, so check your kits to ensure you are prepared for any emergency.