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Outdoor electrical safety tips for kids

Outdoor electrical safety tips for kids

Summer is the perfect time to get out and enjoy the outdoors, but it is important for parents to remind kids of the following outdoor electric safety rules:

• Kids should keep an eye out for overhead power lines and electrical equipment, and never climb on or play near either.
• Avoid climbing trees near power lines. Even if a tree doesn’t seem to be touching a power line but is near one, that branch could make contact if more weight is added to a branch.
• Only fly kites and remote-controlled airplanes in large open areas far away from power lines. If your kite happens to get stuck in a tree near power lines, do not climb it to free your kite. Call your electric utility for help. If you are an LCEC customer, please call 239-656-2300. It is also important to never fly a kite when a thunderstorm is looming.
• Never, ever climb a utility pole or tower. Electricity is carried through utility poles and towers and has the potential to kill.
• Steer clear of electric substations which house dangerous, high-voltage equipment. If a pet or toy makes it inside of a substation, call you utility provider immediately.
• Water and electricity do not mix!!

For more safety tips, visit lcec.net. LCEC wishes all kids a happy and safe end of summer!

Ways to save on your electric bill this summer

It may seem impossible to lower your electric bill during the hot, humid summer months, but energy-savings are possible even during this year’s SWFL summer with these simple tips:

78 is the magic number
• Set your air conditioner to 78 degrees when you are home. Each degree below adds eight to 12 percent to your cooling costs! While away from your home for more than two hours, we recommend setting the thermostat to 83 degrees.

Turn it off
• By keeping your ceiling fans off when you are not in the room, you can save an average of $85 per year per fan. When you are a home, a ceiling fan can do wonders to cool the skin! When using your ceiling fan in the summer, turn counter-clockwise to blow air downward.

Close, open, seal
• Ensure that your windows and doors are all closed tightly when you are running your air conditioner, and keep all vents and interior doors open. Be sure to caulk around windows to keep the cool air in and hot air out!

Pump with purpose
• Save upwards of $100 a year by reducing your pool’s pump by two or more hours a day. During summer months, run your pool pump no more than six hours per day. If your budget allows it, consider purchasing a variable-speed pool pump which could add up to hundreds of dollars in savings a year!

For more simple ways to save, visit lcec.net. Happy summer all!

Become a generator expert this storm season

This year’s storm season has been relatively calm but that shouldn’t deter you from being ready should a storm form. If you plan to use a generator this season, it is imperative to keep the following safety tips in mind:

• Before buying a generator, determine how much electricity you need for your home. This will help you buy the right size generator.
• Don’t connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring at the breaker panel or meter. Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly to you and others. A generator that is directly connected to your home’s wiring can ‘back feed’ onto the power lines connected to your home. Utility transformers can then “step-up” or increase this back feed to thousands of volts—enough to kill a utility lineman making outage repairs a long way from your house. You could also cause expensive damage to utility equipment and your generator.
• The only safe way to connect a portable electric generator to your existing wiring is to have a licensed electrical contractor install a transfer switch. The transfer switch transfers power from the utility power lines to the power coming from your generator.
• Never plug a portable electric generator into a regular household outlet. Plugging a generator into a regular household outlet can energize “dead” power lines and injure neighbors or utility workers. Connect individual appliances that have their outdoor-rated power cords directly to the receptacle outlet of the generator, or connect these cord-connected appliances to the generator with the appropriate outdoor-rated power cord having a sufficient wire gauge to handle the electrical load.
• Don’t overload the generator. Do not operate more appliances and equipment than the output rating of the generator. Overloading your generator can seriously damage your valuable appliances and electronics. Prioritize your needs. A portable electric generator should be used only when necessary, and only to power essential equipment.
• Never use a generator indoors or in an attached garage. Just like your automobile, a portable generator uses an internal combustion engine that emits deadly carbon monoxide. Be sure to place the generator where exhaust fumes will not enter the house. Only operate it outdoors in a well-ventilated, dry area, away from air intakes to the home, and protected from direct exposure to rain and snow, preferably under a canopy, open shed or carport.
• Use the proper power cords. Plug individual appliances into the generator using heavy-duty, outdoor-rated cords with a wire gauge adequate for the appliance load. Overloaded cords can cause fires or equipment damage. Don’t use extension cords with exposed wires or worn shielding. Make sure the cords from the generator don’t present a tripping hazard. Don’t run cords under rugs where heat might build up or cord damage may go unnoticed.
• Read and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation. Don’t cut corners when it comes to safety. Carefully read and observe all instructions in your portable electric generator’s owner manual.
• To prevent electrical shock, make sure your generator is properly grounded. Consult your manufacturer’s manual for correct grounding procedures.
• Do not store fuel indoors or try to refuel a generator while it’s running. Gasoline (and other flammable liquids) should be stored outside of living areas in properly labeled, non-glass safety containers. They should not be stored in a garage if a fuel-burning appliance is in the garage. The vapor from gasoline can travel invisibly along the ground and be ignited by pilot lights or electric arcs caused by turning on the lights. Avoid spilling fuel on hot components. Put out all flames or cigarettes when handling gasoline. Always have a fully charged, approved fire extinguisher located near the generator. Never attempt to refuel a portable generator while it’s running.
• Turn off all equipment powered by the generator before shutting down your generator.
• Avoid getting burned. Many generator parts are hot enough to burn you during operation.
• Keep children away from portable electric generators at all times.

For more storm preparedness information, download the LCEC Hurricane Guide from lcec.net. Rest assured that if a storm does come to SWFL, LCEC is ready! Now is the time to ensure YOU are ready!

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