Summer Electrical Safety Tips for Kids

summerSchool’s almost out for summer, and that means that kids are out having fun in the backyard, the local pool and parks. Parents can share a few electrical safety basics with their children to ensure a happy, healthy summer.

That safety basics checklist includes:

  • Be aware of power lines around you and always assume that wires are “live and dangerous.” Never touch an outdoor wire with any part of your body, toys or other objects.
  • Do not throw items such as gym shoes onto electric lines and equipment or try to retrieve items from around aerial power lines.
  • Fly kites and model airplanes and other toys in large open areas such as a field or a park – safely away from trees and overhead power lines. Also, do not attempt to retrieve balloons, kites or other objects that may get stuck on power lines or other electrical equipment.
  • Do not climb trees near power lines. Even if power lines are not touching the tree, they could touch during climbing when more weight is added to a branch.
  • Never climb a utility pole, or play on or around electrical equipment.
  • Never post or tie signs, hang banners or tie ribbons or balloons onto utility poles or other electrical equipment. This can be dangerous to you and endanger utility workers.
  • Do not go into an electric substation for any reason – even on a dare. Electric substations contain high-voltage equipment, which can kill you. Also, never attempt to rescue a pet that goes inside. Instead, call your local utility company.
  • Never try to rescue a family member, friend or pet that has come into contact with any electrical equipment — Call 911 immediately.
  • Keep electrical toys, appliances and tools at least 10 feet away from pools and wet surfaces.
  • Never touch any electrical toys, appliance and tools while you are wet or standing in water. Energy flows easily through water, like a puddle or a pool.

Tips on maintaining your air conditioner

ac unitIt’s almost time to get those air conditioners tuned up and ready. The hot summer months are right around the corner.

Heating and cooling a home adds up to nearly half of a homeowner’s annual energy bill – about $1,000 a year.

Here are four A/C operating tips that will help you keep your air conditioner working efficiently and cost effectively through this summer and many more to come.

 

  1. Keep it maintained: Have your system tuned up by an HVAC-system professional at the start of each cooling season. He will change the filter, but check it regularly as the cooling season      progresses. As soon as it looks dirty, change it, as a dirty filter impedes airflow and makes your air conditioner work too hard. (If you did not have a tune-up this spring, it’s not too late!)
  2. Provide enough clearance: Your air conditioner’s condenser needs plenty of  airflow to run well. Make sure it has at least 2 feet of clearance on all sides. It should also have 5 feet of open space above it. Trim trees, grass and other vegetation away from the unit.
  3. Reduce sources of indoor heat: Close the drapes to keep out sunshine that raises your indoor temperature. Pay particular attention to windows facing south or west, as they get the most sunlight.
  4. Use your A/C and appliances wisely: Keep your thermostat set as close to 78  or 80 as possible. Each degree you raise your thermostat could lower your cooling bills by as much as 5 percent. Use your ceiling and space fans to keep the air circulating