Owning a home is hard enough as it is, but to a new, independent homeowner, things may seem even more challenging. There are many intricate details which make up a home, a lot of which are sensitive matters which must be prioritized and efficiently catered to. Matters having to do with electrical work may be at the top of this list, considering every modern home’s dependency on electronics.
Knowing how to work with your home’s electrical system is a valuable skill for a homeowner to have. As helpful as technology is, it is very much prone to accidents; that is why a lot of people take precautions such as installing surge protectors for power outages. In situations where it is difficult to get professional assistance to fix certain technical issues, it is always helpful to have the basic skillset when it comes to working with electricity.
Keeping in mind the risks which come with this type of work, there are certain things a homeowner must watch out for. The following are some safety tips to make your experience with electrical work safer and easier.
Insulation Is a Must
When working with electricity, the most basic rule is to never be exposed to any conductors. This is something which could save your life; make sure that every piece of equipment you are working with is properly insulated with the best quality of material. This includes not only handheld gadgets, but also ladders and clothes. Insulated outfits are specifically designed for such work, and will add an extra layer of protection when you work with electricity.
Often, homeowners with limited experience can mistake conducting tools for insulated ones. The handle should be made of specific materials which protect you from being electrocuted, so make sure you are using the right kind.
Keep Everything Dry
In situations involving electrical work, the slightest moisture can become your greatest enemy. With how well water conducts electricity, the chances of you being harmed due to any dampness in the surrounding area are very high; this even includes soil, in case you are working outside. Make sure you don’t begin working with electricity before every part of the working area is perfectly dry. This will ensure that even if something goes wrong, conductivity will at least be to a minimum.
Avoid Overcrowding Outlets
This may be a common practice in a lot of homes, but it is potentially deadly. Homeowners often forget the dangers of an overcrowded extension cord or outlet. The major threat from this is overheating, which may result in a fire. You must avoid using a single extension for multiple appliances, especially those which consume a lot of power. There are certain extensions capable of handling this type of load better than others, so if you require such a gadget, it is best to invest in one which is more likely to safely cater to multiple appliances.
Power surges are one of the most commonly known electrical disasters. They can occur through three major instances i.e. lightning strikes, power grid switches and overcrowding of power outlets in your home. The former is least likely to occur, but the latter two are fairly common. A power surge refers to a spike in the voltage supply to your home, which can lead to the heavier appliances getting damaged.
Power grid switches are from your local electrical company, and you will most likely be notified before it happens. In this case, precautions can be taken to avoid or minimize damage.
- Cut off the main power supply to automatically disconnect all appliances. This is the quickest and safest way to ensure the safety of all your electronics.
- Prepare for a prolonged power outage in advance by charging all portable gadgets and getting a backup internet device in case of an emergency; this will help you stay updated, or even contact someone outside.
- Get surge protectors for larger appliances which may be difficult to replace in case of an accident.
Use a Tester
Electrical work is risky, which is why you must know exactly what you are dealing with. A tester is a small, handheld gadget which can help you check voltage levels, continuity and short circuits. This can give you a better idea of how you should proceed with your electrical work, and which parts of the circuit are safe to interact with. While precautions should be followed in all cases, this makes the process a little less risky.
What Are You Working With?
One of the most important things to consider when working with electricity is the quality of the existing system. Old, damaged or exposed wires are much more prone to accidents than ones which are regularly inspected and repaired. When working with older systems, it is best to check for any vulnerabilities beforehand for the safest possible experience.
Do It Yourself!
Relying on professional assistance for the most basic maintenance-related tasks can be both expensive and inconvenient. Knowing how to take care of your home is part of your job as a homeowner. While certain tasks do require a bit more finesse, you should know how to take care of the basics on your own. Keeping yourself and your home safe as you work is part of the process. Electrical safety is absolute essential due to the risks it poses on your home and your life, and these tips may help you be safer.