Electrical Safety for Outdoor Spaces

Outdoor living spaces like patios, decks, and pools extend living areas during Windsor’s warm seasons. However, outdoor electrification requires special safety considerations. Dampness, exposure, and landscaping hazards present risks. Ensure your exterior lighting, outlets, equipment, and wires are installed and maintained properly by a professional Windsor electric company like Thompson Electrical. Protect your family and property by making electrical safety a priority in outdoor areas.

Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) measure electrical current and quickly cut power when an imbalance is detected. This protects people from severe shocks and electrocution. Ontario electrical code requires using weather-resistant, tamper-resistant GFCI outlets outdoors within 6 feet of water sources and wet areas. Consider using GFCIs for all exterior outlets for enhanced protection. Choose GFCI breakers or receptacles with an extra layer of weatherproofing. Consult Thompson Electrical to install outdoor GFCI devices correctly.

Select Fixtures for Damp, Wet Locations

Look for lighting and electrical fixtures designed specifically for wet locations, like floodlights and lanterns with weatherproof gaskets. Choose outdoor-rated wires and boxes as well. Using indoor fixtures outside presents a hazard. Water can enter non-weatherproof boxes and corrode connections. Consult your Windsor electrician to select exterior lights, fans, outlets and wiring suitable to withstand snow, rain, sprinklers and humidity. Inform them of all outdoor fixtures you intend to install.

Bury Wires Properly

Low voltage landscape lighting wires get buried directly underground, while high voltage wires need protection. Outdoor electrical trenches must be dug deep enough to avoid damage from activity above ground. Contact underground utility companies before digging to avoid striking existing infrastructure. Use code-approved conduit like PVC piping to run wires underground to exterior outlets, lights and equipment. Improper wire burial could lead to damage, exposure and dangerous contact.

Prune Trees and Plants

Overgrown trees, shrubs and vines present electrical risks outdoors. Falling branches can break overhead electrical wires. Vegetation touching your home can provide a path for lightning to reach wiring and cause fire. Outdoor electrical panels and meters must remain clear and accessible without obstruction. Prune back any vegetation threatening electrical equipment or overhead power lines. Call your utility company for assistance pruning near utility wires. Avoid planting under power lines.

Seal Penetrations

Points where wiring penetrates the exterior of your home must be completely sealed against moisture intrusion. Use weatherproof caulk and sealants to seal gaps around wires penetrating siding, stucco, brick and other building materials. Consider hiring Thompson Electrical to inspect sealing and provide waterproofing improvements. Protecting penetrations avoids costly moisture damage caused by leaking water following wires inside walls.

Shut Off Power Before Working

Don’t attempt any DIY electrical work without first shutting off power at the main breaker panel and tagging it “OFF.” Use a contact voltage tester to double check power is cut. Electrical projects like installing driveway lights or replacing exterior outlets come with risk of shock and electrocution. Make sure power cannot accidentally get turned back on. Verify power stays off until the project is complete. Safety should be the number one concern.

Avoid Overhead Wires

Take precautions around overhead power lines on your property. Keep yourself and any equipment like ladders, pool skimmers, and pruning tools at least 10 feet away. Never attempt to remove tree branches or debris near overhead wires. Call your utility company or Thompson Electrical for safe assistance. Educate children about the dangers of overhead wires. Install markers on lines crossing pathways to avoid accidental contact.

Have an Electrician Check Ponds and Pools

Windsor electricians must inspect electrical safety around all outdoor water features before filling. Improperly wired hot tubs, ponds, and pools present electrocution hazards. Licensed electricians know the code requirements for GFCI protection, bonding, and wiring distances from water. They ensure your outdoor fountain, waterfall, hot tub or pool is wired to the highest safety standards. Don’t take risks doing it yourself.

Maintain Outdoor Electrical

Exposed wiring, cracked outlet covers, and corrosion require ongoing repairs and maintenance outside your home. Have your Windsor electrician periodically inspect all outdoor electrical components and sealants to spot potential hazards before they cause injury or damage. Avoid overloading circuits with too many lights and appliances. Extension cords are not meant for permanent outdoor use either. Contact Thompson Electrical at the first sign of any electrical issue outside.

By taking proper precautions and hiring a professional electrician, your outdoor living space can be electrified safely. Don’t play guessing games with exterior electrical work. Trust Thompson Electrical for reliable outdoor lighting, outlets, and low voltage installations in Windsor. Their electricians will help assess your unique needs and handle projects to strict safety standards. Contact Thompson Electrical today at 226-773-2010 to discuss your outdoor electrical project. Let the experts handle electrical safety outside your home.

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