Safety Precautions to Remember When Working on Electrical Wiring
Whenever you are repairing, installing, or doing any work in your electrical system, you always run the risk of electrical burns, shocks, or electrocution. Although some homeowners who are experienced DIYers will be very familiar and confident with performing some basic electrical wiring tasks, it is strongly recommended that you seek the help of a skilled and licensed electrician when making any changes, repairs, or maintenance to your electrical wiring system at home.
However, if you think you are comfortable in doing electrical wiring on your own, it always pays to follow electrical safety best practices. When working with electricity safety must not be compromised, and some ground rules must be followed. Here are some basic guidelines regarding the safe handling of electricity you should know about:
- One of the golden rules when working with electricity is to avoid water or moisture at all times. Water plus electricity is a fatal combination as water increases the conductivity of electricity. Do not work on your electrical wiring with wet hands or if you are near wet surfaces.
- Before you start working on your electrical wiring or receptacles at home, be sure to turn off the power from the main source first to avoid the risk of electrocution. If possible, use a voltage tester to verify if there is still electricity running in an outlet or circuit before working on them.
- Always read the instructional or safety manual of the electric materials and tools you will be using. They are meant for your safety and to prevent accidents that could result in loss of property.
- Do not use an aluminum or steel ladder when working on hard-to-reach receptacles or circuits at home as they are good conductors of electricity. An electrical surge will ground you causing the whole electric current to pass through your body. Instead, use a ladder made up of bamboo, wood, or fiberglass.
- See to it that you know the wire color coding and current safety codes in your state or country.
- Consider upgrading old wirings and outdated circuit breakers. Outdated panels and circuits are prone to overheating and are among the leading causes of electrical fires. As an added benefit, newer models are known to be more energy efficient and big in performance. So, you can save more money and you are assured that they are risk-free and more durable.
- Do not plug too many appliances in one particular outlet.
- Ensure you are protected whenever the task involves electricity. Always use appropriate insulated rubber gloves, boots, and goggles where applicable. It is also a good practice to use insulated tools when working with your electrical wiring.
- Write the purpose of each circuit breaker, switch, or fuse on the electric panel board. It’s a good idea to label the wires, so you know which wires belong to each other the moment you have to reconnect or replace them with new ones.
- Do not use equipment with frayed cords, exposed electrical parts, damaged insulation or broken plugs to minimize risks of electric shocks.
- Install GFCIs in all the outlets near damp areas like the kitchen and bathroom to minimize electric shock hazards.
The risk of electrical fires and injuries can be reduced by following safety precautions at all times when dealing with electricity. Never attempt to work on electrical wiring if you are not sure what to do or you have no knowledge about electrical wires. Working with electricity is a cutthroat business, and it is always much better to leave it to the experts. Contact a qualified electrician promptly if you notice electrical issues in your wiring at home. Ignoring the warning signs and delaying repairs will only make the problem worse.