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Electrical Safety Tips for Outdoor Kitchens

 Electrical Safety Tips for Outdoor Kitchens

An outdoor kitchen makes it easy to entertain guests. You can have epic summer parties with an outdoor kitchen. Yet these areas do have risks, especially when it comes to electrical. Use these tips from F.H. Furr Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning & Electrical to keep your outdoor kitchen area safe and inviting all season.

Invest In GFCI-Protected Outlets

Outdoor outlets and switches are at risk of exposure to the elements. To protect yourself, use ground fault circuit interrupter outlets, which will cut power if water or some other problem with the current enters the wires.

Use Proper Wire Insulation

Insulation is vital for protecting wires from heat and water. Use insulation rated for outdoor wiring. Pay close attention to the contact points between your interior and exterior wiring, which can be particularly vulnerable.

Cover All Wires

Naked wires are extremely dangerous in outdoor kitchens. These are sometimes located near switches and outlets because you must remove the insulation to connect these. Once properly connected to all components, use insulation or caps to cover any exposed wiring.

Stay Within Load Capacity Limits

Check the load capacity of your circuit breaker, and do not exceed it. If you don’t have enough capacity, work with an electrician to upgrade the circuit breaker’s capacity before installing your outdoor kitchen.

Avoid Extension Cords & Power Strips

It’s tempting to use extension cords or power strips to add more capacity to your outdoor kitchen, but avoid this temptation. These aren’t designed for use outdoors, and they often put too much demand on your circuit breaker.

If you must use one for a once-in-a-while need, choose one with GFCI capabilities and is UL rated for safety.

Protect Cables From Cooking Areas

The grill or oven is going to generate a lot of heat. Keep all cables away from these areas. They need at least six inches of clearance for your safety. If they overheat, it significantly increases your risk of a fire.

Repair Damaged Wires Quickly

Damage to your outdoor wiring can happen. If you notice any frayed or otherwise damaged wires, replace or repair them immediately. These put you at high risk for electrocution or fire. In addition, damaged wires are more prone to water damage if exposed to water or humidity, so make sure you cover them quickly.

Unplug When Not In Use

For plugged-in appliances you only use on occasion, make sure you unplug them when you’re not using them. This will reduce the risk of any shocks or fires and protect you from wasted energy flowing through the plug when the unit isn’t in use.

Perform Routine Inspections

One potential problem with outdoor kitchens is that you only use them occasionally, meaning damage or issues can go unnoticed for a long time. Perform inspections of the electrical components in your outdoor kitchen regularly. Consider hiring a professional electrician to help with this.

Store Items Properly In The Off Season

Finally, make sure you have a plan for storing your electrical components in your outdoor kitchen in the winter or fall. You don’t want to leave these out to be exposed to the elements when you’re not using them. Have a water-tight storage area to place your appliances and materials in, then cover all outlets during the off-season.

Schedule Electrical Services With F.H. Furr

An outdoor kitchen can be a great way to have a space to entertain, but they do come with risks. Make sure your family is safe with the right help. F.H. Furr can help you keep your outdoor kitchen safe and protected with our comprehensive electrical services.

Call (703) 540-4838 to speak with a professional or schedule electrical services.

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