Outdoor safety most important in spring

            When the weather warms up, gardeners and do-it-yourselfers head outdoors.

            Here are five tips for working safely with and around electrical equipment.

            1. Look up before setting up a ladder to paint or climb on the roof. Your ladder should not come within 10 feet of an overhead power line. Touching a power line with anything puts you at risk of injuries or worse.

            2. Unplug your power tools when you’re finished using them. One reason: Anything that’s plugged in continues to draw some electricity, even when it’s turned off. Another: A plugged-in tool could overhead and cause a fire.

            3. Don’t use damaged tools, even if they still work. Tools with frayed power cords or cracked body parts are dangerous. They could overheat or malfunction while you’re working.

            4. Remember the best advice your mother ever gave you about electricity: It can be dangerous around water. Don’t use your hose while you’ve got power tools plugged in nearby. If the grass is wet, don’t stand on it while you’re using an electrical tool.

            5. Teach your children how to work and play safely around electricity. Caution them about climbing trees or flying kites too close to power lines. Remind them to never touch a power line if they see one on the ground.