Safety is paramount when working with electricity. Failure to follow proper protocols and precautions may lead to devastating or even deadly consequences. For this reason, many people choose to search for an ‘electrician near me,’ but if you may want to attempt a quick DIY fix too. Always follow these guidelines to protect yourself and your property from the dangers of electricity.
- Water and electricity do not mix. If making repairs around a basin or sink, turn off the water mains. Always keep your hands dry before touching any circuits or electrical equipment. Never make any outdoor electrical repairs in inclement weather.
- Inspect the condition of the cords. If you noticed any fraying, you need to replace it right away. Damaged insulation around wires or broken plugs can also cause serious problems. If you need to replace one of these items, make sure to turn off the power before disconnecting.
- Before you start repairs on any electrical device, be sure to cut the main power supply. Even the slightest current could send you to the A&E. If you worry that someone else may walk by and accidentally turn the electricity back on, post a warning sign on the service panel.
- Invest in appropriate protective gear. For example, insulated rubber gloves add a layer of protection against you and any current. Goggles will also protect your eyes from sparks while you are working on a branch or electrical circuit. The choice you purchase should also have a layer of insulation to stop the flow of electricity.
- A shock from a live wire may be the last thing you ever remember. To prevent electrocution, you need to fully de-energize any equipment. Check any cables, metallic coverings, and loose cables with an electrical tester before beginning any repairs. An electric tester will light up if it senses an active current.
- Not all ladders are appropriate for electrical work. Aluminium and steel are both great conductors of electricity, which makes them a poor choice when working on wires, cables, or electrical devices. The best ladders for these repairs get made from non-conductive materials, such as wood, bamboo, or fibreglass.
- When doing electrical repairs, make sure the circuit breaker or fuse has the right current rating. The job of a circuit is to disconnect a live wire if the current level gets too high. Power short circuits are not only a nuisance, but they also increase the risk of fire. The right fuse should be rated 150 per cent of the usual current level.
- Please do not leave live wires uncovered. Placing a small, plastic cap on the exposed wire will prevent a short circuit or electric shock. Even if you shut off the main service panel, you should still cap the wires for additional safety.
- Capacitors can cause an electric shock if not fully discharged. After you remove the capacitor from the circuit, place the end of two insulated screwdrivers into the terminals. This step will use up any stored energy.
- Once a month, make sure all the GFCI’s are in working condition. These devices are usually available in wet rooms, and they help prevent electric shock by disconnecting from the power supply.
As one can see, there are a lot of safety rules to remember when playing with electricity. If you do not feel comfortable with a project, you can search online for ‘electrician near me.’ Sometimes it is better to hire a professional so you can stay safe.