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Working With Electricity Safely

Seven Tips That Can Save You From Injuries


Man with home electric meter and circuit breakers Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Any time that you are working on an electrical project, safety should be your nuber one concern. With these six tips, you'll hopefully have a productive and safe electrical project. Electricity is not something to be feared, just respected for its power to injure if certain safety warnings and steps are not followed when doing an electrical project.

First, know your limitations before you begin an electric project. Ask yourself if you have the experience and knowhow to even do this project on your own. Maybe you are one that can read directions and follow them. With comprehension and guideance, you can accomplish most do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. But on the other hand, if you don;t feel confident and are unsure or haven't a clue, it might be better to leave the project to a professional. To decide this, consider the factors on whether to do it yourself or hire a pro.

Second, Always turn off the power to the circuit or circuits that you'll be working on. This cardinal rule should be imbedded in your mind whenever you touch anything electrical. To do this, simply turn off the circuit breaker or fuse that controls that device or appliance. Keep in mind that you can shut circuits off, but when working in electrical panels, the feeder wire connections are still hot, even if you've turned off all of the circuit breakers including the main breaker. Again, if you are unsure, it is better to call a licensed electrician to the rescue when dealing with electrical meters and panels than risk injury.

Third, always test the circuit or electrical connection after turning off the poer to it. Use an electrical tester to check that it is indeed off. The ciruit tester should show no activity if the circuit is off. Tpae off the circuit breaker that you turned off and place a warning tag, telling anyone else that you are working on the circuit and not to turn it on again. Only the person that turned it off should turn it back on when he or she has finished working on the circuit.

Fourth, wearing gloves can protect your hands from sharp edges. By wearing rubber gloves in damp areas, you'll minimize the threat of current through your hands.

Fifth, wearing rubber boots in damp areas is also recommended. Electricity and water do not mix! It is recommended that you try to stand on a board or some other nonconductive surface when working on electrical circuits around water. But for added safety, it is recommended that you wear rubber boots that can shield you from, not only the water, but alos from the electricity's path to ground, your body! Be sure to check your boots for leaks or holes before attemping these repairs.

Sixth, when working with electricity, always wear safety glasses. This doesn't mean wear sunglasses or regular eyewear, but safety glasses. You see, safety glasses don't shatter or break into your eyes like cheap sunglasses may. Safety glasses prevent sparks, dirt, and debris from getting into your eyes. Cutting holes overhead causes dust to fall and it usually ends up in your eyes. Drilling produces filings that can be thrown into your eyes. A short circuit can cause sparks to fly towards you and into your eyes. There are dangers all around and you only have one set of eyes.

And finally the seveth safety tip, wear a dust mask. These prevent dirt, dust, and other debris from entering your lungs. Each dust mask has its specific uses, so read the label before buying one that is suitable for the conditions that you are woking in.

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