Electrical Safety in the garden

Electrical Safety in the Garden.

Do not use electrical equipment in wet conditions the risk of injury or death from electric shock are much greater than the risk from using electrical equipment in dry conditions.

Electricity and water don’t mix and may also cause damage to electrical equipment in wet conditions, whether it’s pouring from the heavens or there’s still dew on the ground don’t use electrical equipment outdoors until it is dry.

By following simple safety rules every time you work in a garden you can easily avoid a serious accident.

Fit (Residual Current Devices).

An RCD (Residual Current Device) is a safety device that switches off the electricity automatically when it detects an earth fault. Without it if you cut through an electrical lead and simple job like mowing the lawn could kill you. Any socket that may be used to plug in a lawnmower hedge trimmer or other power tool should have RCD Protection.

Note: The RCDs need to be tested quarterly by the users of the electrical installation, in accordance with the notice that should be fixed near them. This normally involves pressing the test button and checking that the RCD switches off the supply immediately. Regular testing is important, to ensure correct operation of the RCD mechanism in the event of a fault.

Lawnmowers hedge trimmers and other electrical garden equipment.

To stay safe while using electrical equipment in the garden follow these suggestions:

  • Buy a good quality lawn mower/ hedge trimmer from a reputable retailer.
  • Follow manufacturers instructions closely.
  • Make sure all electrical cables and connections are in good order and undamaged.
  • Do not cut grass in wet conditions.
  • Keep children well away from the appliance when in use.
  • Unplug the lawn mower and wait until the blades have stopped turning before doing anything like cleaning grass blockages. Similarly unplug the hedge trimmer before removing jammed hedge trimmings.
  • Garden Ponds – Make sure electric pumps don’t electrify the water.

The risk of electric shock is much higher when there’s water about. Incorrectly installed or damaged mains supplied pumps can result in injury or death to you your family or even your fish.

A mains supplied electric water pump in the garden should be.
  • Good quality and bought from a reputable retailer.
  • Protected by an RCD that is tested at least every 3 months.
  • Installed in accordance with manufacturers instructions.
  • Provided with cables that are protected against accidental damage.
  • Maintained in good working order including cables and any connections.If there’s a problem switch off the water pump’s electrical supply immediately and have the pump repaired by a registered electrician.
Maintaining Flexible Cables and Connectors

If you do not check the condition of extension leads cables and connections and use them correctly you could get an electric shock.

To stay safe make sure they are:

    • Suitable for outdoor use – weather-resistant with moulded connections that prevent moisture seeping in.
    • Rated correctly to suit the equipment you want to connect to them.
    • Uncoil leads to prevent them from overheating.
    • Kept clean and free from damage.
    • Replaced if damage is found.
    • Used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Positioned appropriately to prevent them being damaged.
    • Kept dry.

Bright Ideas for Safer Garden Lighting. Garden lighting is common place but can create a safety risk if not properly installed.

For mains supplied lighting in the garden follow these simple suggestions:

  • Buy good quality electrical outdoor lighting equipment from a reputable retailer.
  • Make sure all outdoor light fitting (luminaires) are weatherproof.
  • Ensure light fittings and water features are waterproof.
  • Have it installed by a qualified electrician in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and compliant to the BS 7671 – Requirements for Electrical Installations (IEE Wiring Regulations).
  • Check regularly for damaged cables and connections.
  • Keep maintained and free from leaves and dirt.
  • Before changing any lamps make sure you switch off the electrical power supply.

If any faults are found switch off the electrical power supply immediately and have them repaired by a qualified Electrician.

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