Outdoor Outlet Safety 101

By Brandon Gibbs | Mar 09, 2018

outdoor-outlet

You may not think much about your outdoor outlets. These handy outlets can make your life much easier, but are they safe?

Generally, outdoor outlets are just as safe as indoor outlets. However, you may need to take more precautions and ensure you are using outdoor outlets properly.

Make Sure You Have GFCIs

GFCIs stands for  ground fault circuit interrupters. These are essential to have installed on all your outdoor outlets. They work by preventing electricity from sparking off the grounding path and into surrounding conductors. If the GFCI detects a ground-fault, it automatically shuts off all electric power, preventing any electrical incidents from happening.

While these come in receptacle, portable, and cord-connected forms, the receptacle type is the way to go. This incorporates the GFCI directly into the outlet and provides the safest solution.

Keep Your Outdoor Outlet Covered

Just because your outdoor outlets are outside, doesn't give them superpowers against the elements. They can be more susceptible to water, snow, and wind than your indoor outlets. 

Therefore, you'll always want to keep them covered up so the elements can't harm them. Invest in a weatherproof cover that shields the outlet when it's not in use. These flip up, giving you easy access to the outlet when you need to plug something in.

Don't Overload Outlets or Extension Cords

Generally, most people don't have a plethora of outdoor outlets, so they might try to plug everything in to a single outlet. This is an extremely dangerous practice that can overload the outlet and cause a fire or other electrical issue. Even worse, extension cords pose major tripping hazards, especially if kids are running back and forth.

Instead, try to limit the number of things you plug in at once. If you have a portable light you're plugging in, talk to an electrician about setting up permanent lighting solutions for your yard so you won't have to worry about this factor.

Watch for Potential Problems

Electrical problems can arise at any time. That's why you always need to be on the lookout. If you ever notice any sparking from an outlet or feel extreme heat, your outlet could have faulty wiring. If faulty wiring is happening around your pool, it could even cause electrocution. 

Additionally, keep the age of your home in mind. If your lights ever flicker or your home is more than 25 years old, you might need an electrical upgrade to keep yourself safe.

Call the Outdoor Outlet Safety Professionals

If you have any questions or concerns about your outdoor electrical safety, call David Gray Electrical Services today. We can inspect your backyard to make sure everything is safe and sound.

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