10 Must-Follow Safety Tips when Doing Electrical Work at Home
From early childhood, we are taught not to play with electricity, for obvious reasons. Being a homeowner grants freedom, and freedom understands responsibility. Every homeowner knows that maintaining a home isn’t easy, and can sometimes be dangerous, especially if you have to meddle with electricity. In this article, you will find safety tips that will help you minimize the risks and dangers of electrical work on your home.
- Mind the Age
Go through the paperwork and see just how old your home is. Most homes have outdated electric installations. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean they are broken or useless, but they weren’t built to maintain all devices we use today (most of our appliances today require electricity). We suggest you do a house inspection once a year, just to make sure that your electric installations are in order.
- Know Your Limits
Electricity is not a joke. Most people think they can handle things on their own, and it is great if they can, but if you can fix minor electrical problems in your home, that doesn’t mean you are an expert on this subject. Try to be objective, understand your limits and ask for professional help if you can’t handle the problem: it might hurt your pride, but it may save your life.
- Understand Your Electric Panel
Distorted electric panels aren’t a rarity. Even the newer homes succumb to this problem. Also, check the brand. Brands like Federal Pacific or ITE Pushmatic stopped with the manufacturing of electric panels, and are no longer updated, regulated, etc. Also, check if your panel is overheating, which is a clear sign of some malfunction. Find the name of the brand and do the research, making sure that you have a quality electric panel.
- The Importance of Breakers
Breakers trip if there is voltage overload in your home. However, if they switch as soon as you reset them, then there is permanent damage done to your electrical system. Sometimes the breaker itself is the problem. Nevertheless, if the breaker switches as soon as you reset it, do not reset it again, for this may cause a fire in your home.
- Mind the Cords
Use the cords correctly and do not modify them if you don’t know how. When it comes to extension cords, use them only for a short amount of time and light work. Visually inspect the cords you plan on using, and inspect the existing cables. If there is any damage done to the wire, dispose of it or fix if it’s a minor issue.
Unplug unused outlets and do not overload the outlets you are currently using. Furthermore, make sure that devices you plan on plugging in the outlet match the outlet’s specifications. Also, make sure they are situated in a safe and dry spot, and that they are distant to any flammable object.
- Tending and Changing Light Bulbs
First and foremost, use the light bulbs of appropriate voltage. Try and use CFL bulbs, for they emit the same amount of light, less heat and require less energy. If you are changing the light bulbs, turn off the fixture, just in case, and make sure that you screw the bulb firmly.
- Obtain a fire extinguisher
Having a fire extinguisher in your home may save your home and your life. A lot of the fires are caused by electrical outages and breaks, and these breaks can occur if the installations aren’t proper. Remember that you can never use water to extinguish the flame, and that the water and electricity are a deadly combination.
When it comes to appliances, always turn them off if you plan on inspecting or fixing it. Also, make sure that the heat-emitting devices have enough space to give off that heat, thus preventing outages and fires. Naturally, use appliances with dry hands, keep them away from the water and wear rubber gloves when inspecting them.
- Check the Switches
If the switches are loose or broken, firstly cut the power. If they are loose, use the screwdriver to fix the problem. If they are broken, replace them because the spark switches emit can cause a fire. Replacing them is straightforward, but if you aren’t confident, call the technician to replace them.
You can never be too careful when it comes to electricity, and following these steps will surely minimize the risk. Inspect when you can and fix where you can, but do not put your life in danger if the problem supersedes your knowledge and abilities.