Homeowners who decide to work on electrical appliances should always make safety a top priority. All systems with strong current running through them have the potential to cause harm, whether one comes directly in contact with a live component or indirectly due to conduction.
Electricity can cause shocks, burns and death by electrocution. Faulty electrical work can also result in fires and property damage. If you're a homeowner and thinking about undertaking an electrical project, you should learn about the hazards and risks involved. Here are some ways you can improve electrical safety.
Check for Faulty Plugs and Wires
One of the most basic and crucial steps to take before starting a job is to inspect an electrical appliance's plugs and wires. It could mean the difference between a job well done and disaster for you and your home. Here are some things you should look out for:
- Make sure there's no exposed wiring or cracks in the insulation
- Check for any kinks in the cords
- Ensure there are no breaks or loose pins in wall outlets
- Plugs should be fully inserted, no exposed part of the prongs
- Avoid overloading by checking to see only one cord is being used per outlet
- Inspect appliances to see if they are properly grounded
- Keep all cords dry and away from water sources
- Chords should be covered or kept away from foot traffic
Hit the pause button on any job if the plugs or wires don't match up with any of the above and perform repairs or replacements as necessary before you continue.
Tone Down the DIY Projects
Always ask yourself, before working on an electrical appliance by yourself, if it's worth putting your own life or that of a loved one in your own hands just to save a few bucks.
It's essentially what you're doing before beginning any electrical project. Different tasks have certain levels of risk assigned to them, but ultimately you may be putting people and your property in harm's way.
Don't forget about your home's insurance policy. Any screw-ups or shoddy work could result in unsafe circumstances that may lead to major damage accompanied by huge financial costs. No matter how good you feel about embarking on a do-it-yourself project, it's always worth it to think twice about contracting the services of a trained technician.
Don't Mix Water and Electricity
This is a no-brainer, but water and electricity don't go well together. Be careful whenever you're forced to work on electrical appliances near sources of water or wet areas.
Water is a good conductor for electricity, which means if you touch a wet surface that's exposed to a live wire, you may become shocked due to current passing through your body.
Under circumstances where you must work near water, make sure any equipment not designed to get wet is secured in a dry area and any tools you use have a safety switch. Remember to keep any cords out of the water.
When it comes to electrical projects, you can never be too safe. The consequences of making a mistake can be dire. If you're not sure about something, homeowners should always call up a professional for advice.