Basic Electrical Safety Tips

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Most homeowners avoid repairing or replacing electrical components primarily because of concerns regarding personal safety. Though electrical devices and wires are designed to be inherently safe, carelessness or ignorance can quickly offset any built-in safeguards.

However, by following a number of simple guidelines and practices, the relative novice can perform simple electrical repairs on many basic components and hire licensed electricians for those activities deemed too complex or hazardous for typical homeowners. Start with a Townsville home energy audit.

Electrical Safety Guidelines and Precautions

  • Safety, not economics or schedule, must be top priority.
  • Know when an electrical repair requires a licensed electrician. And, if there is any doubt, use one.
  • Examine the wiring on a regular basis, replacing cords that have brittle or damaged insulation.

Please observe these precautions...

Do not initiate any action that might break the insulation of a conductor (e.g. staple an extension cord to a baseboard or wall).

Turn the power off before replacing a receptacle or a switch or doing any other work on a circuit, even if you're working with solar panels.

If the system uses fuses, remove the fuse and slip it into a pocket or in your toolbox. Otherwise, someone might reinstall the fuse while you’re working on the circuit.

If circuit breakers are used, trip the appropriate circuit breaker to its OFF position. Then, place a piece of tape and a sign over the circuit breaker’s handle telling people not to activate the circuit.

When you work on an electrical circuit, ensure all wire joints and connections are made inside an approved electrical box. All connected wires should be easily accessible by simply opening an electrical box.

When joining insulated wires to one another or when fastening them under terminal screws, make sure no bare wire extends beyond the connection.

Use wire nuts to join wires, ensuring that no bare conductor is exposed.

Ensure all family members know how to use the master switch to cut off all electrical current.

If there is any chance of contact between water and electricity, avoid wading in the water until the master switch has been turned off.

Always assume that equipment or electrical receptacles or circuits are energized until proven otherwise, even the thermostat.

When working with electricity always use insulated tools.

Use a wooden platform when working with a fuse or circuit breaker box; and similarly, use a wooden ladder when working with electrical wiring.

Diagram the circuit breakers (or fuses) to the specific circuits they activate and place this information inside the circuit breaker or fuse box.