Well, it seems spring has finally sprung here in beautiful Nova Scotia! The snow is shifting to rain – and I even saw a handful of motorcycles out and about over the weekend. Now that the wet season is upon us, here’s a few tips to stay safe as you start digging out the weed wacker and other electrical gizmos.

  1. Keep electrical equipment and cords away from water – Avoid shock or electrocution by always keeping electricity and water as far away from each other as possible. If any of your electric devices gets wet, ensure you let it dry for a few days before plugging it in again. Or better yet, call a professional to come take a look to ensure it’s still safe before powering it on again.
  2. Call before you dig – If you’re eager to till up some earth to plant a nice garden, be sure to call before you dig. Underground electrical, water or even natural gas lines are common in the Halifax area – so be sure to exercise an ounce of prevention rather than a pound of cure here.
  3. Vacuum the coils on the back of your refrigerator – The coils on the rear of your fridge will attract and collect dirt, dust and debris over time. In addition to making the appliance inefficient, this can also pose a fire hazard. Spring and fall are great times to clean up these coils. Also, when you push the fridge back into place, be sure to leave enough room back there for air to circulate.
  4. Clean your stove’s exhaust hood – Dust, oil and food particles can collect in the range hood over time. Spring is an ideal time to remove it, clean the filter, and rub down any exposed surface with a strong degreaser.
  5. Clean your dryer lint trap and ducts – Spring and fall are the times to clean out the dryer and it’s ducting. Dryer fires are very common, and are usually the result of dust build-up in the dryer or ducts. Be sure to clean from end-to-end, both interior and exterior of the system.
  6. Check your power bars – Power bars are designed to handle a certain load. Go around your home and ensure you don’t have too many things plugged into them. Also look for any scorching, melting or anything else peculiar. If there is evidence of any wear, be sure to replace the offending unit, and cutting down on the number of items plugged in at that spot.
  7. Check wattages on your lamps – Lamps, like most appliances, are only meant to handle a certain electrical load. Ensure your bulbs are equal or less than this load limit. And consider replacing older incandescent or CFL bulbs with modern LED ones. They are safer and will save you both electricity and money in the long run!
  8. Inspect electrical yard tools before use – Look for for frayed power cords, broken plugs and weathered or damaged housings and don not use damaged equipment until it has been repaired properly. Keep all tools unplugged and stored in dry areas when they are not in use.
  9. Look out for power lines – Before you trim tree limbs and shrubs, keep an eye out for power lines that could be hidden by branches. Contact the Nova Scotia Power directly if there are concerns about tree limbs growing in or around the overhead power lines on your property.
  10. Don’t use electric-powered lawnmowers on wet grass or around water – And always use an properly insulated extension cord that’s designed for outdoor use and has the correct power rating for that equipment.