Jane was just 18 years old but managed to save her mum from electrocution. Her mum rushed out of the laundry room to remove a fuse when she noticed a spark in the house. But for Jane’s timely intervention, she was ready to pull the fuse with her wet hands. Electrical safety is attainable if you adhere to basic safety precautions.
All she did was to push her mummy who was aiming at removing an electric fuse with wet hands off and thereafter safely removed the fuse. What an act of bravery demonstrated by an informed teenager!
The need for safety precautions when working with electricity is very important because a minor mistake can lead to perils. Whether you are an electrician or not, you need to read this precautionary tips to the end reason being that nobody except cautious people is safe with electricity. You need to know what to do in event of electrical fire.
In this article, I will be taking you through the many precautionary tips as possible and I encourage you read to the end and do not attempt to skip any point.
Just before I go into the precautionary measures, let me first of all mention the many risks attached to electricity.
HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH ELECTRICITY
Electricity hazards are many but to save your time, I will simply mention few here. They include:
- electric shock
- deaths in some cases.
They often occur as a result of several factors such as having direct contact with live cables and installation of substandard electrical equipment. Also, negligence on the part of home owners or electrical engineers that do not have necessary skills to carry out electrical installations may lead to perils.
Having mentioned few of the many causes of electricity hazards, let’s go straight to the primary reason why you’ve stayed this long on this page.
Electrical Safety: How to Avoid Electricity Hazards
Avoid electrical repairs if you are not qualified:
The number one safety precaution here is for anyone who is not a certified electrical engineer or have sufficient skill, knowledge and experience to stay clear of any form of electrical repairs. Employing a quack electrical engineer will not only put your life at risk but also that of others.
Pay attention to what you are doing:
Do not lose concentration when working with electricity be it at home or office. It’s only in movies that actors go through multiple electric sparks but never get injured. You’ve got to give electrical repair work 100% concentration if you are serious about personal safety.
Carry out checks consistently:
Prevention they say is better than cure and that is why you should always carry out routine check on electrical equipment and apparatus that you use or move often.Electrical safety requires consistent check on electrical equipment and any electrical apparatus whatsoever.
Also, checks must be carried out on electrical wires that are not well tucked in to know if any of it has been eaten up by rodents.
Stay Away from water:
Research shows that conductivity of electric current tend to increase in water hence, the need to avoid water completely when working with electricity. Do not carry out any electrical work with wet hands – dry them up with towels. Do not use any equipment or tool that is wet.
You may be wondering what has your dress got to do with what we are discussing here but the truth is that it is. An unexpected spark could send some hot particles into loose areas which could trigger some burns and injuries.
Also, you’ve got to be smart so as to be able to respond as swiftly as possible in moments when promptness is required and that might be all you need to escape injury.
Avoid unprotected electrical equipment in condensed areas:
It’s wise to apply common sense when installing your equipment in condensed places. Your decision to hang them on the wall is a good precautionary measure against injuries and avoidable loss of lives.
Use of insulated tools is a must:
Do everything within your reach to avoid exposing yourself to danger. Always check to see that your tools are in good condition. If you notice any damage on tool’s insulator, make sure you replace it without any delay. Electrical safety doesn’t thrive in carelessness.
Aluminum or iron ladder is risky:
Avoid aluminum and iron ladders because they will expose you to electrical surge and increased risk of peril. It is advisable you use either wooden or bamboo ladder as that will invariably reduce your exposure to risk.
Do not ignore circuit breaker:
Be sure your circuit breaker is intact but don’t just use it, make sure it tallies with the required current rating. This is needful in that it prevents any unexpected electric surge from going beyond a certain point. This would not only stops fire from going beyond a specified point but also, prevent losses.
Dig for underground cable with caution:
I am sure you still remember what I said earlier about water and current. Don’t think dampened soil couldn’t cause accident. You can’t be too conscious with electricity.
You must be very careful when digging out cables and the only sure way to avoid electric shock from dampen soil is to avoid shovel if possible. Consider using your hands but don’t forget to use good gloves for protection.
Check out for safety signs on equipment:
Do not just put equipment to use but always be smart enough to see safety signs affixed to it. This would help not only in connecting it right but also safety use of it.
Stay safe; turn off the main switch:
It’s safe to turn off the main switch if you are trying to do some repairs outside the switch in question.
Also, don’t forget to notify others by providing enough signs to prevent other people from unknowingly switching on the witch in question.
Avoid fake electrical tools:
Do not buy electrical tools without proper certification as there have been cases of electricity hazards no thanks to some substandard tools.
Using fake tools is just not going to give you poor result but will also expose you to hazards in no distant time. Stay away from anything that is capable of compromising your electrical safety structures.
Damage insulator is a killer:
As I mentioned earlier, check out for tools with broken insulators and replace without any delay.
Do not be careless when trying to remove broken plugs or frayed cords. Always make sure you have your rubber gloves on when working with electricity.
De-energize equipment before you make any attempt to repair:
At one point or the other, every equipment needs repair. Note that there are hazards attached to some energized equipment hence, exhibit caution whenever you are carrying out any repairs on them.
Make sure current is no longer running through the wires – this is needful so as to avoid unexpected hazards.
Don’t forget to give your Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter routine check:
This is necessary to avoid hazards in some key areas in your house.
Don’t work alone:
It is not advisable to work alone. Make sure you always have someone who could be of help in time of trouble. Also, it should be noted that it is ideal to make sure the other person is well trained as an untrained person could end up creating more problems in case of hazards instead of being of help.
Avoid touching in case of accident:
Do not touch either the victim of electrical accident or any electrical apparatus until you have disconnected the power source. Failure to do this before making attempt to rescue a victim would eventually lead to more casualties
Keep your halogen lamp at a distance:
Halogen lamp could be dangerous if they are close to combustible items hence, the need to be mindful of where you place or install them. It is meant to be a safety equipment but not a hazard.
Treat every smell as a likely hazard;
If you perceive any foul smell in your house, do not ignore. Call trained electrical engineers and let them check to know what the problem is while you should not forget to switch off your electrical apparatus to avoid fire outbreak before engineer’s arrival.
Remove warm sockets:
Just like the previous point, all warm sockets must be disconnected and replaced immediately if discovered to be faulty. Do not take chances
Avoid nailing extension cords:
If there is need for you to fasten your extension cord to the floor, use rubber tapes instead of nails. Piercing a nail through an extension cord could damage the cord and eventually trigger fire or electric shock.
Replace that fuse with the right one:
Many fire incidents are products of negligence or should I say carefree attitude which often lead to regrets. If you choose to change a fuse, make sure the new one is of the same capacity with the old one.
Of what use is any equipment that no one could operate in moments of perils? Train everyone in your house on how to use available safety tool. Note that accident doesn’t often give warning signals and that means it could happen anytime and that could be when you are not home
Get enough sockets:
You need enough sockets and the primary reason for this is to avoid overloading your socket if they are few. Having more sockets would reduce loads that could heat up your electrical cables when powering too many loads on single socket. There is a complete checklist on how not to overload your socket on esfi.org .
Do not attempt to clean appliances if they are plugged:
Do yourself a favour by unplugging those appliances before making any attempt to clean them as chances are that your action could trigger a major disaster.
Stay clear of overhead lines:
This is very essential but in case you cannot avoid it, make sure you site temporary structures a bit far away from the lines.
Also, let appropriate authorities in charge of electricity be in the know of what you are doing so as to provide necessary assistance when the need arises.
Don’t try to pull off that cord in time of sparks:
When there is an electricity spark, electric wires tend to be hot and the rubber insulator on them could easily peel off if touched. Do not try to pull off electrical cables as that may eventually lead to a peril.
Save your life if possible:
You will agree with me that there are times when any attempt to remedy a fire incidence would result in loss of life. It is advisable you stay away at this point. You can’t afford to take on the responsibility of an insurance company or the fire fighters.
Shut it down if there is a spillage:
The first thing you should do if water spills on your equipment is to go to the main switch or circuit breaker and switch it off. Do not attempt to turn any knob on or off until you have permanently unplug your equipment.
Keep those conductors very well:
Be sure that those conductors are not kept in places that could attract accident.
Do me a favour: Kindly share this post with your friends on social media. Who knows? That might be all it would take to save a life.
Create family awareness:
The possibility of you enjoying some measure of safety is is very slim if your family members are careless with electricity. You need to create enough awareness within your family so that everyone would be safety conscious when handling electricity.
Do not fly wires in open places:
Tuck all electrical cables in safe places . This is needful so as not to give room for rodents to eat them up and invariably cause fire disaster.
Also, that would prevent children from pulling electrical cables when playing around.
This is possibly the most important precaution you could take against electricity hazards. Your insurer would always restore you back to your previous position if loss involved is not life.
Thank you so very much for reading up to this point. Join me in creating a safety conscious world by sharing your thoughts in the comment area