Electricity is a very useful thing but it is inherently dangerous. Working with electricity needs utmost care and presence of mind. Even a momentary lapse can lead to serious consequences like death or damage to property. Electrical jobs require consistent focus and safety consciousness. If you have difficulty concentrating on any particular task, working with electricity is definitely not for you.
But even with its innate dangers, there are certain electrical jobs that can be done by ordinary people who only have a basic knowledge of the subject. But to ensure safety, they should follow certain rules. These are necessary because they are meant to prevent accidents which can be fatal. Here are some basic guidelines that can help to keep you and other people safe while you are working with home electricity.
1. Be sure to know what you are about to do.
Home electricity is not rocket science and it is not as complicated as brain surgery. However, you need more than instincts to be able to deal with it. So before you begin an electrical task, you should have a good understanding of the electrical concepts in relation to what you are about to do.
2. Turn off all power sources then check to make sure everything is off.
Look for the main switch and turn it off. To really make sure that it’s off, turn something on like a light or an appliance. It should not work as expected. But if it does turn on, the breaker you just turned off is not the right one. You should be able to turn off the switch that controls the line you are about to work on.
3. Inform everyone in the house about what you’re doing.
To make sure that no one meddles with the switches, you should let all the other occupants of the house know what you are doing. Teenagers are particularly prone to turn switches on without checking why it is turned off.
Better still if it’s possible for you to lock the breaker, do it and keep the keys to yourself. This is the best thing you can do to prevent accidents. If a lock is not available, just seal the breaker with tape or tie wire and put a warning that it should not be turned on.
4. Start your work but do it as if the electricity is on.
This is not a joke. This is meant to really make sure that you are safe while working. What if someone accidentally turns the breaker on without your knowledge? That said, right before you begin, you must:
Wear shoes with insulated or rubber soles
Avoid working on wet places or when your wet
Only use tools that have insulated handles
5. Focus on what you’re doing.
Lack of focus can lead to poor workmanship like loose or faulty connections. These can trigger accidents such as electrical fires and other mishaps. As much as possible, you must avoid all types of distractions or anything that can divert your attention. Be sure to check that your work is safely done if you must attend to something more important or as soon as you’re finished.
Sometimes, it takes only one simple mistake for electrical incidents to happen. To avoid accidents, you should see to it that you know the basic concepts of electricity before attempting to do minor home electrical repairs. If the task at hand is too complicated for you, you must let qualified residential electricians do it.
Lori Palermo is a corporate consultant who is experienced in the areas of fund administration, corporate solutions, human resources, technology and small business. He likes to share his knowledge about business and human interests. .