By James Mooney on 27/08/2015

What can you do to help protect your outdoor electrics?

To make sure your family are safe when they’re in the garden? Not to mention when electric and water mix?

By following some simple safety rules when you’re in your garden, you can easily avoid a serious accident.

Get Residual Current Devices (RCDs) Fitted

An RCD protects you from electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fires.

RCDs can potentially save your life. Without it, if you cut through an electrical lead, even mowing your lawn could kill you.

Use RCD protection on any socket that may be used to plug in a lawnmower, hedge trimmer or other power tool.

Be Careful When You Cut the Grass

When you use a lawnmower or hedge trimmer it’s important to keep the cables, connections and plugs free from damage.

Stay safe when you use electrical equipment in the garden by following these suggestions:

  • Use a good quality lawn-mower or hedge trimmer from a well-known manufacturer, a cheaper or unknown alternative can be more hazardous or have a less durable electric cord
  • Follow manufacturers’ instructions closely
  • Wear gloves and goggles at all times when you use hedge trimmers, it’s easy for debris to hit you, which can make you lose control of your hedge trimmers
  • Check that the socket-outlet has RCD protection, see above
  • Test your RCD protection every three months, this is easy to do, simply press the test button
  • Avoid cutting grass in wet conditions, water and electricity don’t mix well
  • Always wear proper footwear, not sandals or thin material that won’t protect your feet
  • Keep any children well away from the appliance
  • When you clear grass blockages from your lawn mower or remove jammed hedge trimmings, unplug the appliance and wait for the blades to stop moving
  • When you’re digging in the garden be aware there may be electric, gas or water services buried below, so take care and if you find anything that seems pipe-like, call the National Grid’s Plant Protection Team on 0800 688 588

Be Careful When You Mix Water with Electricity

Water and electricity don’t mix.

So when you decide to fit water features or need a water pump in your garden there’s always the risk of electric shock. Especially if the mains supplied pumps are incorrectly installed or damaged. This can result in death or injury to you, a loved one, or your fish.

If you decide to fit water features in your garden make sure the electric water pump is:

  • Good quality and brought from a well-known retailer, cheaper alternatives can damage easier, or may not be as safe
  • Protected by an RCD, see above, that’s tested at least every 3 months
  • Installed in line with the manufacturer’s directions and instructions
  • Provided with cables and connections that are protected against accidental damage
  • In good working order and has been maintained

If there’s a problem, switch off the water pump’s electrical supply immediately and have the pump repaired by a Part P qualified, registered electrician.

Do You Want to Transform the Appearance of Your Garden?

Getting power to the outside of your home can completely transform the appearance of your garden or patio. And provides an easier solution than having cables and wiring leading from your house, only to look untidy around your garden.

Although there are battery powered or solar alternatives, the choice to have proper lighting installed outside is reliable year round, and gives you a wider range of choices.

Security and practicality are two reasons why lighting is a major benefit outside. Motion sensor lights can provide extra protection against intruders, and recessed spotlights can line a pathway or drive, whilst outdoor lighting can also illuminate parts of your garden you’re proud of, for example your water feature.

Always consider the following safety concerns before you arrange to get any sockets or switches installed:

  • Will the cables be exposed to the weather conditions? If so bear in mind potential wear and tear
  • Will the distance between the mains and the socket be long enough for your cables?
  • Will the type of cable be right for connecting your electrical circuits, or will it be damaged very quickly in bad weather? 

If in Doubt, Use a Professional

If you’re in doubt over the electrical safety of your garden make sure to use a professional electrician.

Click here to find your local Mr. Electric.

Five reasons to choose Mr Electric

  • World leading range of energy saving technologies.
  • All work carried out is guaranteed to give you peace of mind
  • Free no-obligation quotations for every job. We tell you how much a job will cost up front so there are never any nasty surprises
  • Fixed pricing policy, no hidden costs and no call out fees. Ever.
  • Our highly trained staff can provide comprehensive solutions to any electrical problem, so whatever your electrical need, we will be able to fix the problem.