Electricity 101: Preventing Electrical Shock
If you’re in the do-it-yourself mode for making electrical repairs in your home or business, you need to educate yourself on avoiding electrical shock. Timothy Thiele, a writer for www.about.com, offers these tips.
- You should always shut the power off to the circuit or device that you will be working on. Do this first, before you do anything else on the project.
- After you have turned the circuit off, check it with a tester to make sure that it is really off. Never assume the circuit is off because if you’re wrong, it might danger your life.
- If a ladder is necessary for your project, never use an aluminum ladder—ever—for an electrical project. Always use an insulated fiberglass ladder to keep you safe. Avoid wet areas when working with or on anything electrical. If there is a reason for you to be in such a situation, wear rubber boots and gloves to lessen the chances of getting electrical shock. Tools and appliances should be plugged into a GFCI outlet or a GFCI extension cord.
- Dry your hands before grabbing any cord to plug it in or to unplug it. Wet hands coming in contact with a frayed cord spell nothing but trouble.
- If you are working on the service panel or a circuit, put a warning label on the face of the panel. This will warn other people not to turn on the circuit that you are working on. For example, you’re working on a second-floor electrical problem and you have turned off the circuit in the first-floor panel. Then someone else comes along and turns on the circuit again. If you happen to be that person on the first floor, and you notice the warning label, check to see if someone is making electrical repairs.
Paying close attention to these steps will help you stay safe and prevent electrical shock.
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