According to national statistics, every year, more than 350 deaths and over 3,000 injuries in places of work are caused by the improper exposure to electricity. Working with electrical wiring, electrical panels or any high amperage electrical appliances must be treated with caution and a certain degree of professional experience. It is advisable to know about the safety precautions that should be taken to ensure a high degree of safety.
Unfortunately, the majority of electrical accidents are caused by unsafe work environments, unsafe practices or the improper usage of electrical equipment. We’ve researched and compiled precautions that should be taken to ensure maximum safety from electric hazards.
Ensure you switch off the device you want to work on
Turning off the power to the device you are about to work on can help prevent accidents associated with electricity like shocks, electrocution and so on. However, turning off the power does not mean pressing the switch provided on the device. What it does mean is that you must turn off the circuit breaker in the main service panel or breaker box. If the device you’re working on has a plug, you should also disconnect the plug from the socket.
Test for presence of voltage
After turning the appliance off and turning off the circuit breaker at the panel, it’s very important to check for the presence of voltage on any part of the wiring by using a voltage tester. It’s recommended to check the wiring and any electrical contact that allows current to pass through before touching them. For example, if you want to work on a wall socket, you’re advised to turn off its breaker on the service panel. Carefully open the cover and check for the presence of electricity before touching. Caution is your best friend here!
Be very careful when working with capacitors
Capacitors can be very dangerous and can cause electric shock if touched because they are like batteries and they are designed to store electrical charges on their own. It’s advisable to be careful when working on appliances that come with them. However, they are usually found on appliances that have motors like air-conditioners, refrigerators, etc...
Always work with insulated tools
Insulated tools with rubber, wood or plastic handles are the best and the most appropriate tools to use when working on electrical appliances. They are the best because they don’t allow electricity to pass through and can prevent an electrical shock.
These are just a few tips to ensure your safety when working with electrical wiring or appliances. If you are hesitant of your skill set or unsure you can complete an electrical job without injury or keeping everything to code, please contact a licensed electrician. McCauley Electrical proudly offers residential and commercial electrical services to residents of Albany and the surrounding Capital Region. If you have questions, let us know.