Outdoor Safety

Protect Against Electric and Gas Hazards

Learn how to spot and remedy potentially unsafe conditions outside your home during every season.

Home Maintenance

  • Always be aware of where your electric lines are located when using or carrying a ladder. Never let a ladder touch a power line. Be especially careful if you are using a metal ladder.
  • Use caution when painting or working in areas near the electric cable to your home. Contact with the cable could be dangerous, especially with a metal ladder.
  • Never operate electric trimmers, mowers or power tools with wet hands or near wet grass or shrubs.
  • Power and garden tools should be protected with three-pronged grounding plugs, unless they are double insulated.
  • Always use heavy-duty grounded extension cords that are in good condition. If using an extension cord near wet grass or shrubs, be sure the outlet is equipped with a ground fault interrupter.
  • Don't trim tree branches when there's a power line running through them. Call a tree-trimming professional to safely prune your tree.
  • Consider hiring a local contractor if you need to replace a TV or radio antenna. Antennas are difficult and dangerous to handle and can easily fall or come into contact with overhead power lines. The job is better left to an experienced professional.
  • All outdoor outlets should have waterproof covers. Outlets that have moisture in them may create a shock hazard.

Winter Weather Complications

  • Chimneys and vents for gas appliances must be cleared following a major snow or ice storm to enable proper venting and prevent carbon monoxide accumulation.
  • Make sure that snow does not block exhaust from a sidewall vent. Sidewall vents are common in recent heating and water heating systems, especially with high efficiency models. Vents act as breathing devices for these systems—they take in fresh air, mix it with fuel to produce heat, and discharge exhaust fumes that contain harmful carbon monoxide. If a vent becomes blocked with snow or vegetation, it could shut down heating equipment or draw in exhaust fumes containing carbon monoxide.
  • Accumulation of ice or snow can interfere with the proper operation of your gas metering system. The meter assembly may contain a regulator that is designed to safely release pressurized gas in the event of a malfunction. Blocking the regulator vent could create an unsafe condition where gas is not able to escape from internal piping.
  • Snow and ice can damage gas meters and piping. Be careful when removing snow from around the gas meter; any damage to the gas meter could potentially create a possible leak hazard.
  • Use a broom to keep the gas meter, pressure regulator, and vent piping clear of snow and ice during the winter season.
  • Chimneys and vents should be protected using an approved cap or screen to keep small animals or insects from entering. These pests have been known to build nests inside chimneys or vents and can cause potentially hazardous conditions.
  • If you smell a gas odor outside, please call 1-800-436-7734 (PSEG) from a neighbor's home and remain outside until PSE&G arrives.

Outdoor Gas Grill

  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines before operating a gas grill.
  • When the grilling season begins, inspect your gas grill prior to using it. Make sure all the fittings are tight, drip pans are clean, and there are no insect nests in the burners.
  • Check connections by rubbing soapy water over them. If you see any bubbling, tighten the fittings.
  • When lighting the grill, make sure the burner controls are not set to maximum levels. Never try to light the grill with the lid closed.
  • Keep your face and hair away from the grill when lighting burners.
  • If the grill fails to light, keep the lid open for at least five minutes to allow residual gas to disperse before attempting to relight.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of fire.
  • Make sure children are kept a safe distance away from the grill.
  • Be sure to operate the grill at a safe distance away from the home and any other combustible materials. The high amount of heat generated has the potential for melting vinyl siding.
  • Clean grill surfaces before you start cooking.
  • Turn the valves off when you’re finished cooking.
  • If your grill is not working properly, arrangements can be made to schedule a repair service for a fee by contacting PSE&G WorryFree or your local plumber. Learn more about PSE&G's WorryFree program here.
  • If you smell a gas odor outside, please call 1-800-880-7734 (PSEG), and remain outside until PSE&G arrives.

Pool Hazards

  • Contact your town or village hall to confirm that your pool plans meet all local zoning and safety requirements.
  • Check that no electric devices are so close to the swimming pool that they could accidentally fall into the water.