If you're doing your own electrical work, you need to ensure that you are being safe as possible. To prevent death or injury due to electrocution, there are numerous safety tips you should keep in mind. Keep yourself safe with the following guidelines.
1. Turn off the Power
Ideally, before starting any electrical project, you should always shut off the power. This rule should apply whether you are wiring an extension onto your home or doing something as simple as replacing a light switch.
Don't just turn off the circuit of the area where you are working. If nearby circuits are on, the electricity could arc from a powered circuit to the area where you are working. That's a relatively rare risk, but to be on the safe side, you should turn off power to your entire home. So that you can see while you are working, work during the day or use a battery-powered LED work light.
2. Wear a Hard Hat
You may think that you only need a hard hat if bricks or planks may be falling from up above. However, that's not strictly true. If there are loose electrical wires, a hard hat can also protect you against them.
The plastic of the hat acts as an insulator which prevents the current from electrocuting your brain. Note that once a hard hat goes through an incident such as an electrical shock, it needs to be replaced.
3. Wear the Right Safety Gear
In addition to a hardhat, you should also protect your skin with safety glasses or a face shield. Insulated gloves and work boots with thick rubber soles can also help to prevent electrocution. These safety items are especially important in areas where you aren't sure whether or not the power is on or when you are working near electrical wires. For example, if you are cutting down a tree near electrical wires, you want to take these precautions.
4. Be Careful With Metal Ladders
While a plastic hard hat acts as an insulator, a metal ladder does just the opposite. It works as a conductor. If you are using ladders around live wires, avoid metal. If the wire hits the metal, the current will move through the metal and into your body.
Instead, to protect yourself, use a plastic or fiberglass ladder. Even an old wood ladder is preferable to metal.
5. Exercise Caution Around Power Lines
If you are working outside around power lines, you need to think about electrical safety even if electricity is not related to your main project. For example, if you are painting a home and using scaffolding, you have to be aware that the scaffolding doesn't hit the power lines and electrocute you. In these cases, always identify the power lines before you start, and make sure that you keep all cranes, cherry pickers, ladders, and other objects safely away from the power lines.
6. Position Wires Carefully
If you are installing electrical wires, you need to be careful about objects that could lead to damage. In particular, don't wind wires around sharp edges or put them in positions where they may rub against rough surfaces. The abrasion and rubbing could cause the insulation to strip off the electrical wire, eventually leading to shorts in the system or even fires in a worst case scenario.
Additionally, as you work, be sure to look over the condition of the electrical wires near your workspace. If they are frayed or damaged, it may be time to replace them as well.
7. Hire an Electrical Contractor
If you truly want to be safe during an electrical project, don't do it yourself. Instead, hire a contractor. Electrical contractors from companies like Albarell Electric Inc are fully trained in safety and electrical installation techniques. With their help, you can ensure the project gets done correctly and that there is virtually no risk of injury.
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