Catching Up on Your To-Do List? Stay Safe With These Outdoor Power Tool Safety Tips

Summer is nearly here and you are probably busy making your list for the home improvement store as you gear up to tackle all those home repair chores on your to-do list. Since many of those chores are likely to be accomplished outdoors, it is critical to remember to stay safe while working, especially when using corded electrical tools, extension cords, and other electrical appliances outside.

Before you get started with your first chore, take time to read the following safety tips to make sure that you stay safe while you work. 

Check your equipment before beginning each project 

A lot can happen to your tools and equipment when they are not in use, especially if they have been idle for several months or have been stored in areas where rodents, moisture, or other issues might affect them. So before you begin working, take time to sort out the power tools and equipment you will need, wipe off any dust or grime, and give them a quick inspection for damage. Indications of condition issues that could pose safety issues for you during use include: 

  • cord damage, including taped areas, frayed areas, cracks, splits or cuts, or damage to the plug end
  • missing start or stop buttons 
  • missing safety guards or shields 
  • rust, corrosion, or other signs that the tool or equipment has been wet 

If you find that any cord is damaged or a button or shield is missing, taking time to repair the cord or replace the missing part before you use it will help keep you safe while working and help you avoid unnecessary downtime, too. 

Check the area where you will be working for any potential hazards

Next, you will need to carefully examine the area where you will be using the electrical tools. In particular, be watchful for overhead power lines that could make using a ladder or carrying long objects, like boards and pipes, hazardous. Areas where the ground stays damp or water tends to pool can also be unsafe, especially if you will be using extension cords on the ground that could cause you to experience an electrical shock. 

Check all electrical sockets you will be using 

Lastly, take time to examine the electrical sockets you will be using to provide power to your electric drills, saws, and other tools while you work outside. If there is any discoloration or damage, or the socket seems loose, you will need to contact a reputable electrical contractor in your area to inspect it and repair or replace it before using it. In addition, if at any time during use the socket seems to feel hot or you notice any smoke or odd smells, make sure to stop using and call an electric company like Sequim  Valley Electric to inspect it.