Repairing electrical wiring is a common household project. From installing an outlet to replacing the old lightbulb with a new one, these electrical maintenance activities are often undertaken by homeowners without considering their safety as improper installations and repairs can be dangerous. That’s why there are certain rules which DIYers and even electricians must follow to ensure their safety and prevent the occurrence of electricity-based fire.
Check out this blog post to learn about seven essential safety tips that everyone should know before handling home wiring projects.
1) Switch Off the Main Power
One of the most common reasons for electrical shocks and accidents is that the power switched on when working on the wiring system. Always switch off the main power during the electrical maintenance activities. To ensure that no one else switches it on, leave a note saying ‘electrical work in progress’ and tape the circuit breaker into the off position.
2) Test for Power
Before you start opening circuits, sockets or outlets, always test wires and devices for power. Sometimes shutting off the power is not good enough. If wired incorrectly, circuits, wires or outlets may have switched the neutral which can make the wire or outlet still live. That’s why the best bet is to test for power with the help of an electrical or voltage tester. This will help prevent electrical shock or other accidents.
3) Avoid Touching Pipes
When working on electrical maintenance, be careful of what you’re touching. Plumbing or gas pipes should not be touched while working with electricity because these pipes are often used to ground electrical systems. If unknowingly you touch them, it can cause accidents.
4) Make Tight Wiring Connections
When creating electrical circuits and conductors between wires and metal contacts of outlets or light fixtures, it is necessary to make tight wiring connections. Loose connections restrict the flow of electricity that creates friction and heat. If the connection is very loose, it can lead to arcing where electricity jumps through the air between two conductors, thus creating tremendous heat. To prevent fire hazards caused by heated conductors, make sure all wiring connectors are tight and two conductors are joined together properly.
5) Don’t Overload Outlets
Many homeowners plug multiple appliances into one outlet or extension cord. Overloading a single outlet by plugging multiple high-wattage appliances should be avoided as outlets are made to put out a certain amount of energy. Check out the maximum capacity of the outlet before plugging devices as overloading can result in fire hazards.
6) Replace Old Wires
Old wiring is among the primary reasons for house fires. Old or outdated wires that show signs of deterioration or fraying should immediately be replaced to prevent accidents. Some of the signs that show its time replace your old wiring are-
- Tripping breakers or blowing fuses
- Need for extension cords
- Light dims or flickers when you turn on an appliance
- Acrid smell of an electrical burn
- Hot wall outlets
If you notice these red flags in your home, wait no more and get your home’s electrical wiring updated without fail. Be sure to purchase wires and cables only from a reputed electronic store to get high-quality and certified products.
7) Keep Wires Way from Water
It’s no secret that water and electricity create a deadly combination, whether it is done accidentally or unintentionally. Make it a point that your hands and feet are totally dry before you touch any electrical equipment. Never use electronics near water such as sink or bathtub and ensure that electronic appliances in your bathroom are properly installed to avoid loose connections.
To learn some more electrical safety tips to avoid accidents, watch this video.
You may have already known some of the above-mentioned safety tips, but it is essential to give a reminder to ensure you or your loved ones never get into dangerous situations. After all, prevention is better than a cure. If you think that handling electronic equipment and wiring is not your cup of tea, consult a professional instead of trying your hands at electrical maintenance activities.Image Courtesy: toyskids.co