Use Outdoor Power Tools Safely

September 5, 2019

As summer winds down and we prepare to enter the fall season, many of us will be raking leaves, cleaning gutters and preparing our homes for colder temperatures. If your outdoor activities require the use of power tools, it’s important to operate the devices properly and be aware of potential hazards around you – such as changing weather conditions and the presence of power lines.

The following guidelines can help keep you safe when operating power tools outdoors:

  • Read the instruction manual – including all safety warnings – and make sure all protective guards are properly installed before use.
  • Plug the power cord into a three-prong outlet on a three-conductor circuit. This gives you the added safety of a neutral-to-ground connection provided by the third wire.
  • Inspect your tools after each use and keep them in good working order. Replace or repair worn or defective parts immediately.
  • Keep your tools clean and store them in a dry place. Never use electric tools or mowers in wet areas.
  • Keep the work area clean of sawdust, shavings or any other debris that could pose a fire hazard, and never use a power tool around flammable liquids such as gasoline or solvents.
  • When using outdoor electrical tools – such as hedge or grass trimmers – wear sturdy, rubber-soled shoes or boots. Never operate these devices barefoot.
  • When using a ladder, make sure you maintain a safe distance from any power lines in the area.

In addition, if a landscaping project requires digging, call 8-1-1 before beginning work. Trained personnel will locate and mark underground lines on your property. There is no charge for this service, and it is available in all states that FirstEnergy serves.

For more information about how to stay safe when working outdoors, visit the Outdoor Electrical Safety page of the FirstEnergy website.