- Before you start working on electrical equipment, make sure the power is turned off! This may seem obvious, but people often fail to turn off the power source before beginning to work on electrical equipment, with tragic results. If the power is on, you may get a short circuit and an arcing fault when a metal screwdriver, wrench, fish tape or other tool touches grounded metal and an energized conductor which could result in a painful burn and a visit to the hospital.
- Remember that your body conducts electrical current, and that an electric shock of 120 volts can often be just as deadly as 600 or more volts.
- Avoid short cuts when working with wiring, such as removing the third prong (the ground) from a plug, running extension cords in damp or wet areas, and splicing flexible cords together.
- Remember, water and electricity do not mix! Make sure that you have the proper GFI protection in place to protect you, your family and your employees. GFI protection should be provided in bathrooms, kitchens, unfinished basements, garages, outdoor receptacles, swimming pools, spas and other areas. Check with your electrician to be sure that you have the proper GFI protection. It is also important to regularly check that your GFI’s are working properly with the test and reset buttons provided by the manufacturer.
- Don’t get complacent around electricity. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports call this the “I’ve never had a problem before” syndrome. It only takes one mistake that could result in serious injury or death.
- When in doubt, hire a professional electrician, he knows how to work on the wiring in your home or business safely and how to maintain it to keep you and your family safe. Remember you are too valuable to your family to risk getting hurt and your family is too valuable to you to risk their lives with substandard electrical work.
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