It’s the time of year when many outdoor renovation projects are underway. Whether you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer or are using power tools for the first time, electrical safety is a consideration.

When using power tools outdoors, keep your hands and feet dry and always work in a dry location. Power tools must be equipped with 3-prong cords for safe grounding, and the cord and all three prongs must be in good repair. If you are in a location where an extension cord is needed, check the tool for the manufacturer’s specification for the appropriate gauge. Heavy duty tools may require a 12 or 14-gauge extension cord. Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriate for the task and the tool.

Be aware of the location of powerlines near your work area and remember that electricity can arc without direct contact with a conductor. Avoid powerline contact with ladders, truck boxes and lumber. Even wood can be a conductor of electricity, especially if it is wet.

Underground installations are also a consideration in any renovations involving ground disturbance. Contact Alberta One-Call in advance of starting your project for locates of buried facilities. Call Battle River Power Coop for locates past the transformer pole.

For renovation projects involving changes in the electrical system be realistic about your skill level and recognize when it is time to call a professional electrician. There is a high level of potential risk with electrical installations and doing a job beyond your level of expertise can result in a dangerous situation for you and your family. Battle River Power Coop members have the option to use our electrician service, available for jobs of any size. Information about this service is available on the website or by phoning the office at 1.877.428.3972.