Electrical Safety: The Basics of how to Protect Yourself

Electricity has the potential to be exceptionally dangerous and damaging to people and property. However, by taking preventative measures you can reduce the risk to yourself when working with and around electricity. Take the time to learn the basics of electrical safety before you begin any work projects that could involve a live current.

  1. Make sure the electricity is turned off – Rule 1 of electrical safety should be pretty logical, if you plan on working on something with an electrical current running through it stop that current. Unplug the device, switch the breaker, make sure that there is no electricity running through whatever you are working on. By taking this preventative measure you stand to eliminate most of the danger associated with the work you are doing.
  2. Make sure no one turns the electricity back on – While you’re working make sure that everyone around you is aware of the fact that you turned off the electricity in order to work safety. You are in for a potential disaster if a family member turns the power back on while you are working. To insure the people around you don’t interfere inform them that you have turned off the power and that you will be the one to turn it back on. As well, put a note on the breaker indicating that you have shut it off on purpose and are currently working. There is no limit to the number of preventative safety measures you should take to inform people you are working, one accidental switch could be potentially lethal.
  3. Use the proper protective equipment – Even if you follow the electrical safety steps above sometimes accidents happen, so it is best to err on the side of caution and protect yourself with proper attire and tools. Wear work shoes or boots with a thick rubber/insulated sole so a current is less likely to travel through you to the ground. Further, never brace yourself with your hand against the ground or this eliminates the insulating effect of the boots. Use tools with insulated handles that are designed to be used around electricity. Generally avoid using metal or conductive materials while you work, such as metal ladders. The idea with any work project is to have the right tools for the job, inform yourself of what you need and make sure you have it before you begin.
  4. Be aware while you work – This may also seem like a fairly obvious idea for working around electricity, but it is crucial to insuring your safety. Be aware of your surroundings while you work, make sure there is no water that the electricity could travel through where you are working, or that the area is bright enough for you to see (use a mobile light source not attached to your electrical network). Make sure you are aware of any loose wires that could be active near your work space, and take steps to prevent potential danger before you work. Electricity safety can be as simple as taking a moment to assess your environment for potential dangers.
  5. Ask the Experts – Electricity is dangerous and potentially lethal to work with if you don’t know what you are doing. To really insure your safety while working with electricity fire an electrician. They are trained experts with the proper tools and knowledge to stop the chances of a dangerous situations happening.
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