Summer Safety at the Lake Cottage, Camp or Vacation Chalet

by : Cary Z. Francis

Its summer time. The grass is turning green the birds are back. Its time to complete those projects at the Lake Cottage or camp or perhaps even in your own backyard back home in the city. It never hurts to prepare for your project and its safe completion. An ounce of prevention in terms of project safety can be worth more than a ton of cure. Remember the whole point of the exercise is relaxation and enjoyment. At the end of the day, or at the end of the project you will be able to sit down and enjoy the company of friends or family.

First of all when it comes to any of your projects take time ahead of starting to survey the project area. If there are hazards in the area not these. If there are electoral power lines in the ground call the authorities to locate these. They will only be too glad to help you. After all it's in their interest to make sure of no disruptions of power and have no neighborhood accidents. It's best to call during business hours. If there are overhead lines, note these as well. Take extra special care. You should take that extra care and preparation especially if you are using scaffolding or ladders, installing or moving a TV antenna on a roof. Even if you are installing aluminum or metal siding on a building or cottage take time to plan ahead so that you are very careful near overhead or even nearby electrical power lines. Even when cleaning eaves troughs on a house, chalet or when trimming trees caution should be afforded, provided for and maintained. Electrical power lines can be most dangerous and produce either danger or most dangerous potentially fatal accidental electrical injuries. Again electrical injuries involving power lines can be very serious in nature, even deadly. On top of that if you are in a remote location - such as an isolated lake camp or cottage, medical help can be some distance away.

Next it is always wise to keep in mind safety tips. If you are going to be using outdoor electric tools such as hedge clippers or lawnmowers it best never to use them when it is raining or even when the grass is still wet. The same can be said for power mowers. Sure there is no electricity but the chance of slipping, especially if the ground is not flat prairie and has inclines, on wet ground rather than dry. Back to electrical tools, Inspect any cords and plug for integrity and condition. Make sure there are no breaks or open contacts. If possible grounded plug is always a better choice than non-grounded ones. Grounded plugs now not only come in the traditional three prong plug, but also in the newer style grounded two prong plugs. You can properly identify grounded two prong plugs as one prong of the electrical plug in will be wider than the other one. The same procedure and rules can be applied to extension cords. Ensure ahead of time that you have an extension cord or cords of appropriate and adequate length. Having the proper tools and equipment on hand can save your day and your project.

If your electrical tools are battery powered - it's usually a rechargeable battery, and then if possible inspects the battery for its condition and any damage. Inspect the cords and plugs as well. Especially if the tools have been stored over the long, cold winter in an unheated storage shed this can be a concern. Plastic can crack in the cold. In addition if the batteries do not hold a charge, due to their condition, then you will be rewarded with longer charges and greater convenience.

Lastly if you are going to paint or string electrical fixtures in an outdoor area, or even changing electrical light bulbs, then it never hurts to play on the safe side and turn off the power. This can be done via a switch if possible, or if need be at the electrical panel itself.