Electrics & Garden Safety
It’s not just inside the home where you need to worry about electrical safety, it’s the area outside too. It’s important to keep an eye on your electrics and garden safety, as many types of electrics are used outside, but any water from rain or damp surfaces can make this dangerous. Here are a few tips to stay safe when you are gardening or adding new electric items in the garden area, and how to protect your equipment from damage.
Use a residual current device (RCD)
The first thing you should do when moving into a new house is to fit an RCD – a residual current device. This should be fitted to any socket where you run garden tools, from your lawnmower to your hedge trimmer, and can protect you from a nasty electric shock if you accidentally cut through a wire or run over your lawnmower’s cable. It can also reduce the risk of an electric fire if there’s a malfunction.
Store electrical equipment safely
If you use an electrical lawnmower for mowing the lawn, or use items such as hedge clippers, it’s important to store them in a place that’s dry and away from damp. Any damp can affect the plug or wiring, leaving you at risk of electrical shocks or fires.
If you plan to clean, adjust or check any items, make sure they are unplugged when you do so. It can be easy to accidentally switch the items on, which can cause injury, or give yourself a shock.
You should never use electrical items from lawnmowers to trimmers in wet conditions. If it has been raining, don’t get the lawn mower out until the ground is dry. Mowing a wet lawn can damage it anyway, so wait until a dry day.
Use garden equipment safely
When it comes to electrics and garden safety, most equipment is supplied with a manual that shows you how to use the items properly, so you should read the instructions before you take it out for a test.
When you need to choose a piece of garden equipment, you should opt for a well-recognised brand from the UK, which will come with manufacturer’s instructions and safety marks. Follow the instructions closely, using the test button on the RCD before you begin to ensure it works, and making sure you have gloves and goggles when cutting a hedge.
When you are cutting a lawn or hedge, look out for the cable or any obstacles such as stones. Make sure you wear shoes rather than sandals to protect your feet. Remember, gardening equipment is not a toy. Kids should stay away from this machinery until they’re old enough to use it safely, so keep them indoors with any pets until you’re done.
Get water features installed professionally
A popular sight in many gardens are water features, and while they look cool, the combination of water and electric can be dangerous if improperly installed or damaged. Like any electrical equipment, it’s better to leave the installation up to qualified electricians, and if there are any problems with the electric water pump, they should be the ones to fix it.
It’s important to buy a water feature that’s good quality, ideally from a trusted retailer, as they’ll have high standards for safety when it comes to garden electric items.
Any sort of water feature needs to be protected by an RCD, have cables that are protected from damage and be safe from things like damp. It’s also important that you regularly check the RCD it is attached to is working and inspect any visible wires for signs of damage.
Ensure garden lighting is safe
Garden lighting allows you to enjoy your garden even when the evenings turn dark, but again, it’s important to get it installed by a registered electrician who can ensure everything fitted is safe and weatherproof.
You should choose outdoor lighting from a well-known supplier. Again, it’s safer to go with a store that you know, rather than a discount website, as this means the electrical equipment will have gone through safety checks. It also means if something arrives broken or is unusable, you have a better chance of getting your money back. Unfortunately, there are a number of websites selling electrical equipment that’s not up to scratch, so if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.
When your electrician adds the light fittings to your garden, they will again ensure that you have an RCD fitted and that the cables are safe from any underground damp or damage from animals. This is important when running lights from the supplied electric from the house, as any damage could affect your house or lead to a nasty electric shock or fire, which is why it’s better to have someone qualified to do the fitting, so you can enjoy your lights without worry.
When you are concerned about electrics and garden safety and need a qualified electrician for an installation or to check your current fittings, call the team at Peninsula Electrical Services on 0151 668 0794 or e-mail email@example.com.