It’s vitally important to take safety precautions when working with electricity. Safety must not be compromised and some ground rules need to be followed first. The basic guidelines regarding safe handling of electricity documented below will help you while working with electricity.
1. Avoid water at all times when working with electricity. Never touch or try repairing any electrical equipment or circuits with wet hands. It increases the conductivity of electric current.
2. Never use equipment with frayed cords, damaged insulation or broken plugs.
3. If you are working on any receptacle at your home then always turn off the mains. It is also a good idea to put up a sign on the service panel so that nobody turns the main switch ON by accident.
4. Always use insulated tools while working.
5. Electrical hazards include exposed energized parts and unguarded electrical equipment which may become energized unexpectedly. Such equipment always carries warning signs like “Shock Risk”. Always be observant of such signs and follow the safety rules established by the electrical code followed by the country you’re in.
6. Always use appropriate insulated rubber gloves and goggles while working on any branch circuit or any other electrical circuit.
7. Never try repairing energized equipment. Always check that it is de-energized first by using a tester. When an electric tester touches a live or hot wire, the bulb inside the tester lights up showing that an electrical current is flowing through the respective wire. Check all the wires, the outer metallic covering of the service panel and any other hanging wires with an electrical tester before proceeding with your work.
8. Never use an aluminium or steel ladder if you are working on any receptacle at height in your home. An electrical surge will ground you and the whole electric current will pass through your body. Use a bamboo, wooden or a fibreglass ladder instead.
9. Know the wire code of your country.
10. Always check all your GFCI’s once a month. A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) is a RCD (Residual Current Device). They have become very common in modern homes, especially damp areas like the bathroom and kitchen, as they help avoid electrical shock hazards. It is designed to disconnect quickly enough to avoid any injury caused by over current or short circuit faults.