Electrical Safety rules For DIYers and Electricians
Electrical Safety rules For DIYers and ElectriciansWhile we all use electricity in our homes and industries, many never know it can cause serious hazards.
Electricity can cause severe hazards which may even lead to death, and a household current of 120V is even enough to can cause electrocution.
However, you can prevent most of these by observing the electrical safety rules
Major hazards associated with electricity
The common hazards that come with electricity are:
- Electric shock and burns due to coming in contact with live wire or appliance
- injury as a result of exposure to arcing, fire from faulty electrical installations or equipment
- explosions due to unsuitable electrical apparatus or static electricity igniting flammable vapours.
Tips to help you work safely in an electrical field
Know the basics of electricity
Before you start working in an electrical field, it’s important to understand the basics of electricity.
Basics of electricity may include the use of electrical tools, simple installations, troubleshooting electrical faults, and others.
Be aware of the risks that come with electricity
Electrical work comes with some risks, keep an open mind and be ready for any potential dangers that may come up.
You may never know what could happen, and it’s important to be able to handle any potential emergencies.
Always observe the safety measures when working with electricity
It’s important to observe safety precautions when working with electricity. The precaution may include wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) like insulated gloves, helmets, boots and others.
You should also avoid touching electrical wires or appliances with wet or bare hands.
Follow the safety guidelines of your workplace
When working with electricity, always follow the safety guidelines of your workplace.
These guidelines may vary depending on the type of work you’re doing, but they all include things like wearing safety gloves and belts, using insulated tools, and ensuring that your workplace is safe from electrical hazards.
Electrical safety rules to prevent electric shock at home
- On no account should you touch electrical wire or appliances with wet or bare hand. Water is a good conductor of electricity and can easily increase your risk of getting electrocuted.
- Always wear your personal protective equipment when working in an electrical field
- Avoid using equipment with damaged cords or insulators.
- Always use a ladder made with non-conductive material.
- Know where the circuit breaker is installed should there be an emergency
- Treat all electrical devices as live, you never know which one carries the current.
- Always switch OFF your circuit breaker or control switch before working on an electrical system.
- On no account should you use an outlet or cord with exposed wires
- Never wear a metallic ring or use metallic rule when working in an electrical field
- Avoid coming in contact with electrical wires and equipment
- Use only tools with rubber insulators when working in an electrical field
- Never you wear loose cloth or tie near an electrical machine or equipment
- In case somebody is electrocuted, never touch the person or the circuit rather, switch OFF the control switch.
- Be familiar with your country’s wire code
- Always inspect your ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) at least once every month to be sure they are in order. The GFCI protects you from a ground fault.
- When it is necessary you must handle electrical equipment plugged into a circuit, ensure your hands are dry and duly protected with an electrician glove.
Tips to help you work safely with a power tool
Switch OFF the power tools before connecting them to the power supply.
Disconnect the power source before embarking on any maintenance work or adjustments.
Make sure that the tool is properly grounded or double-insulated.
Always plugin the tool on a 3 pole socket each time you want to work with it.
Always test the tool for proper grounding before use. You can do that with a continuity tester or a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI outlet)
Never use the power tool with a wet hand or in a damp environment unless you connect it to a gfci.
On no account should you bypass the on/off switch of the tool and operate it by connecting and disconnecting the power cord.
Do not clean the tool tools with toxic or flammable solvents.
On no account should you operate the tool in an area containing explosive gases.
The most common mistakes that people make when attempting to undertake DIY tasks include cutting through power leads, drilling into wiring and repairing electrical items while they’re still switched on.
Top five tips for electrical DIY
- Locate cables in your wall. A common DIY error is accidentally drilling, nailing or screwing things into cables hidden inside your walls. A quality cable detector can help you to track buried cables before you start work and avoid the risk of an electric shock.
- Use an RCD (residual current device). An RCD can save your life by cutting off the power in the event of an electrical fault caused by a DIY blunder. Make sure you have one fitted in your fusebox (consumer unit), and where necessary use a plug-in RCD.
- Shut off the power. If you’re doing any work near electrical wiring or power supplies, where possible, shut off the power in your fusebox and use battery powered tools. To be sure that power is off before beginning DIY, plug an appliance into sockets and try switching on the lights.
- Check power tools and watch out for the lead. Before using any power tools, check the lead and plug are in good condition. If you can see signs of damage (such as frayed wires) get the equipment repaired before using it. And watch out for the power lead at all times so you don’t accidentally cut through or trip over it.
- Get advice from a registered electrician. The best way to avoid any electrical problems in the home is to seek the advice of a professional. If you’re not sure, don’t DIY.