Electricity is an integral part of our everyday lives, but it can also be dangerous when not handled correctly. Here are some tips to keep in mind the next time you’re working with electricity.
Use Tools With Insulated Handles
When working around electricity, the best way to avoid electrocution is to use power tools with insulated handles. Insulated handles on tools will help prevent accidental shock if you touch a live wire or other electrified part. Always assume that any wire can be energized, even if it is disconnected and the power is off.
Disconnect Electrical Appliances Beforehand
Electrical accidents can happen when cleaning, repairing, or moving electrical appliances. If a cord or plug is damaged or wet, it could cause an electrical shock. The best way to stay safe is to disconnect the appliance before you start working with it.
Frayed Cords and Damaged Equipment
You can reduce your risk of getting an electric shock by keeping electrical appliances in good working order. Don’t use an appliance if its cord is frayed, worn out, or damaged. If an appliance is not working properly, have it repaired or replaced before using it again. Don’t use faulty electrical equipment.
Wear Proper Safety Equipment
Wear the proper safety equipment, rubber-soled shoes, and nonconductive clothing whenever you’re working around electricity. Also, wear goggles or glasses designed for working with electricity to protect your eyes. Consider wearing insulated gloves that will protect you from chemical burns and electrical shocks in high-risk situations.
Never Operate Electrical Machinery With Wet Hands
Water and electricity can be fatal in combination. Ensure that all exposed wires are dry before handling them, and never work on a wet surface if there’s even a chance there might be electricity nearby. Also, don’t touch anything that might be electrically charged if your hands are wet; even if you think the power is off, it could come back on at any moment.
Use a Voltage Tester to Ensure There’s No Electricity Running Through Wires
Before you get started with any electrical project, you’ll need to ensure that there is no electricity running through the wires. To check this, you can use a voltage tester. Just place the tip of the tester on the wire and its body on the other wire or onto a ground like a water pipe. If it lights up, there is still electricity running through the wiring. If not, it’s safe to proceed with working on it.
Avoid Handling Random Electric Wires
Avoid touching wires or cables without knowing what they do first. Turn off the power or unplug any device before handling its wires. And never touch a wire unless you’re sure it’s safe to do so.
Use a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) to Avoid Risks
When working around electricity, use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to prevent electrocution. GFCIs are small electrical devices that protect you from electrical shock by quickly shutting off an electrical circuit when it detects an unbalanced current. For example, they can help protect you if you accidentally cut through an extension cord or power line with a piece of metal.
Do Not Use an Aluminum or Steel Ladder
Both aluminum and steel conduct electricity, so if you’re using one of these ladders near electrical lines or outlets and they come into contact, the ladder will act as a pathway for the electricity to reach the ground. You could be electrocuted if you’re standing on the ladder when this happens. So, if your ladder is made of aluminum or steel, don’t use it anywhere near electricity.
Do Not Touch a Downed Power Line
The most important thing to do when you encounter a downed power line is avoid it. Even if the cable seems dead, don’t touch the line or anything in contact with it like fences, trees, or standing water. The electricity could come back and electrocute you. If you’re working in an area with overhead wires, make sure the equipment you’re using doesn’t come into contact with them either.
Exercise Caution Around Flammable Material
When working with electricity, always keep in mind that it can cause a fire. Because of this, you’ll want to be extra careful when handling flammable materials and liquids. Any sparks caused by electricity could ignite the material and cause an explosion or fire.
If you are a resident of Fuquay-Varina or the surrounding area, Dawson's Electric is your go-to electrical company. You can count on us for all your new installations, electrical inspections, repairs, panel replacements, upgrades, or surge protection. Our team of certified electricians will get the job done expertly. Call us today.