If you own your own home, you probably know how to change a light bulb. This is generally considered common knowledge.
Though many (if not all) homeowners can change their own light bulbs, and even hang their own light fixtures, in some cases, when it comes to performing intricate electrical work, this is a job best left to the experts.
Electricity takes the path of least resistance, and the human body is made up of over 70 percent water, both an insulator and conductor. With this in mind, if you’re in the way of the electrical path, you could risk electric shock or death.
So, it’s safe to say it’s best to get out of the way and let the experts handle any complicated electrical matters.
Perhaps you’re learning about electricity only to become more knowledgeable and safe, or maybe you’re looking to take the next step in your career as an electrician. Regardless, there are a few things you should know about electricity in order to stay safe.
1. Family Protection
If you have small children, your primary job as a parent, aside from feeding, clothing, and providing shelter is to ensure the safety of your children so they can grow up to be just like you, or, hopefully, better.
In earnest of staying safe, it is best to protect your family from any electrical dangers that may be present in your home. These dangers can include any of the following:
- Exposed wires
- Uncovered Electrical Circuits
- Exposed Transformers
- Visible Wires (protruding from the ground)
- Faulty Switches
- Out of Code Electrical Work
Of course, you’ll probably want to limit the access to any areas where exposed wires are present until you get an electrician to come and fix your problems.
Additionally, receptacles should also be covered if you have small children in the home. These are the plug outlets that are found throughout your home.
Small children have the uncanny desire to place things into holes, and the last thing you want is for your infant or toddler to get ahold of your keys and stick them into a socket.
2. Outdoor Protection
Chances are if you own your own home, you probably regularly perform routine maintenance in or around your property. If this is the case, it is crucial that you have working knowledge regarding staying safe around electricity.
If you have to get onto your roof for any maintenance issues, the first thing you’ll want to do is to look for nearby power lines that might be hanging near the roof. If using a ladder, ensure that you’re climbing with at least several feet of distance between you and the electrical wiring.
When manipulating a ladder, always be aware of your surroundings and ensure that you never pivot or carry a large ladder underneath low-hanging wires.
It’s also good to note that while outdoors, you may come across exposed wires on the ground. If you do, the best course of action is to call your local city public works department or seek out the help of an electrician in order to solve the problem.
3. Performing Appliance Maintenance
As a rule of thumb, if you’re going to be servicing any of your interior or exterior appliances, whether changing bulbs on floodlights or installing a new drain pan for your hot water heater, you need to turn off the breaker switch corresponding to that particular appliance.
Manipulating any appliance while it’s connected to a live electrical current is extremely dangerous and can result in serious injury or death.
Turning off the breaker switch effectively cuts off the flow of electricity to a particular room of your home. These breakers are typically labeled as to which part of the home they operate.
If you find that your breakers are unlabeled, then it’s time to consult an electrician for guidance prior to performing any home appliance maintenance.
Toying around with electricity kills people every year. Whether this is through poor knowledge of electricity or by not following safety guidelines, these deaths are most often accidental and can be easily avoided if safety rules are followed.
To ensure that you keep yourself and your family safe, practice extreme caution around any electrical devices, especially around those with the potential for causing serious injury or death.