Outdoor electrical safety

Outdoor Electrical Safety Tips
Download these NFPA safety tips on outdoor electricity. (PDF, 578 KB)

Lighting to improve the look and safety of our homes, electric tools to make our outdoor work easier, and power lines to our home, all need to be handled with care.

Video: Follow these simple outdoor electrical safety tips.

Outside electrical work 

  • Have a qualified electrician do all electrical work.
  • To prevent an electrical shock, make sure all your outside electrical receptacles are GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) protected.

Equipment safety

  • Use lighting and power tools that have the label of an independent test laboratory and make sure they are made for outdoor use.
  • Store your electrical tools indoors.
  • Keep electric tools away from children.
  • Keep the area around your electric meter and other electrical equipment clear.
  • Check lighting and extension cords for damage before using. Replace any damaged cords right away. 
  • Use extension cords that have the label of an independent testing laboratory and are marked for outdoor use.
  • Extension cords are not meant for long-term use.

Power lines
Have a professional tree cutting service trim branches that might fall on electric wiring. Use a wooden or fiberglass ladder outside. Keep the ladder at least 10 feet away from power lines. Never touch anyone or anything in contact with a downed wire. Power lines may be live, stay a safe distance away. Report downed wires to authorities right away.

NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)
1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471 USA
Telephone: +1 617 770-3000 Fax: +1 617 770-0700