Knowing how to work with electricity is always a handy skill to have. It can save you time, money and be of great help in emergencies. Knowing how your home functions and how best to take care of it is important for any homeowner, and having this skill is a huge part of that; however, electrical work isn’t always the safest, especially if you are not a professional. In order to keep your life, home and valuables safe from harm, you must always take certain precautionary measures when working with electricity.
A lot of homes now run almost entirely on electricity. From gadgets for children to IoT devices for the elderly, homeowners are very likely to find themselves in a situation where these precautions could prove to be very useful. The following are a few safety tips to keep in mind when working with electricity.
The first thing to remember when working with electricity is to avoid water at any cost. Water is one of the best conductors of electricity, so making sure that the area where you are working is completely dry is absolutely essential. Not only should your tools and equipment be moisture-free, it is also important to check the soil when working outside. Cables can be dangerous in situations where the ground is damp, so make sure you wait for everything to be dry before working either anywhere near an electrical power source, or even live wires.
Oftentimes, people will wash hands and mistakenly begin working. This is why wearing insulated gloves for absolute protection can be a life saver. This should always be a part of your equipment, since electrical wiring can often be unpredictable.
Use Insulated Tools
All electrical work requires a certain skillset, as well as some tools. If you are someone who works with electricity frequently, you most likely already have a set of tools that you most prefer working with. A good way to ensure that these tools are as safe as they can be is by making sure they are properly insulated. The material from which the handles are made should be completely safe, so that even in case of a mishap, you do not have to worry about getting hurt.
Another scenario where insulated equipment can be a lifesaver is when you are working on a certain height and must use a ladder. While aluminum and steel ladders can be quite helpful at times, they are a bad choice when dealing with wiring and such. Make sure to always use a wooden or insulated ladder for this type of work. For even more safety, you can even use insulated gloves and overalls when working.
Make Sure Your Equipment is De-energized
If you are unaware of the technicalities when working with electricity, it is important to always consult a professional beforehand. Energized equipment refers to that through which electricity is running, meaning that it can electrocute you if you come in direct contact with it. In order to see whether or not a wire is energized, you can use a tester. A tester is a gadget which can tell you the status of a wire simply by touching it; if it touches a live wire, the bulb inside will light up, indicating that it is unsafe to work on. Only resume work once the tester stop lighting up, so you know that no electricity is actively running through that particular circuit.
Cover Live Wires
When working on an electrical board, you may have to deal with certain live wires with bare ends. In this case, caps can be used to cover these ends so that you do not end up accidentally touching them. Not only can this hurt you, but if this live wire comes in contact with a neutral, it could end up causing a short circuit that would be even more of a hassle to repair. You could end up risking a lot of equipment, appliances and your home’s entire electrical system, which can all be avoided by simply taking this precaution when working on a panel.
Make Sure There are No Damages
One of the most common ways accidents may occur when working with electricity is through faulty wiring. Oftentimes, the insulation on your wires can get damaged. This exposes them and makes them very dangerous to work with, which can not only lead to electrocution, but can also end up being a fire hazard in certain cases. Make sure all wiring is repaired before you get to work on it, and there are no open wires that could cause harm to you or your home.
Aside from the wiring, the plugs and leads also need to be kept in check. Replace anything which may require it at once, or it may prove to be disastrous. To know when this is required, making sure to inspect them every few months is necessary.
Safety should be the first priority of any homeowner. Whether the potential threat to your home is internal or external, you must always be prepared to deal with it in the most efficient way possible. Electrical work can be extremely risky, which is why making sure to avoid any possible disasters is an absolute must. These precautions will help ensure that even if something is to go wrong in such a situation, no harm will come to you or your home.