Over a century ago, Men Without Hats topped the music charts with their hit song “Safety Dance.” One line goes as follows: “And I can act like an imbecile.” Sure, you can act like an imbecile when you dance. But if you don’t follow certain safety rules when you’re working with electricity, you could lose more than your hat.
Whether you feel confident enough to tackle a project that involves electricity on your own, or you think it’s time to call in the experts, here are a few electrician safety tips you’ll want to follow.
NEVER Touch Energized Electrical Circuits
Okay, that’s pretty obvious. It’s kind of like telling a rock climber to “not fall.” But the reality of the situation is this: touching a live wire can actually kill you. So, remember this essential safety tip, as it could save your life.
ALWAYS Assume All Electrical Devices Are Live
To ensure you follow tip #1 perfectly, always, always, always disconnect the power source before servicing or repairing electrical equipment. That means unplugging the appliance, removing the fuse, or flipping the switch at the electric panel.
REMEMBER To Wear Electrician Safety Gear
The handles of your tools and equipment should not conduct electricity. Actually, you want to avoid anything that conducts electricity when working with electrical equipment. Don’t use metallic pencils or rulers and never wear rings or metal watch bands.
When it’s necessary to handle equipment that’s plugged in, be sure to follow these steps:
- Make sure hands are dry
- Wear non-conductive, electrician safety gloves
- Wear electrician safety clothing
- Wear electrician safety shoes with insulated soles
And when you’re working with electrical equipment, never wear loose clothing or ties.
USE Safe Work Practices
Whenever you can, work with only one hand and keep your other hand away from anything that could conduct electricity. If both hands are near the electricity, you increase the chance of forming a “loop” and that could allow current to pass through your chest.
Avoid putting electrical equipment where condensation is likely, like in cold rooms. If you have equipment in rooms like that, mount it vertically so condensation doesn’t accumulate. If liquid spills onto your equipment, don’t clean it up until AFTER you shut off the power or unplug the equipment.
- Don’t handle electrical equipment if you’re wet or perspiring or standing on a wet floor.
- If you feel a tingle when you touch any equipment, disconnect it and fix it.
- Make sure all electric contacts and conductors are properly covered so no one can accidentally touch them.
- If you have to touch electrical equipment, use the back of your hand. If you get shocked, your muscles will contract, but at least you won’t be holding the equipment.
NEVER Leave Flammable Liquids Near Electrical Equipment
Another obvious electrician safety tip, we know. But you should always pay extra attention to all kinds of fire hazards that may be surrounding your electrical outlets, circuits, and devices.
Electrician Safety Clothing: Do’s & Don’ts
DO Wear Flame-Resistant Clothing
Flame Resistant (FR) clothing is a great way to protect yourself from sparks and other electrical fire hazards. You probably won’t necessarily purchase or use this clothing unless you’re doing some serious work. If you do wind up buying FR clothing, however. You should use it right.
- For example: If you’re wearing FR clothing but cover it with a coat that’s not FR, and you’re not “really” protected.
- If you work in the cold a lot, go ahead and invest in FR outerwear.
Don’t Wear Polyester or Synthetic T-Shirts Under FR Clothing
Sure, they help with moisture, but they’re not flame resistant. If a fire happens, they can actually melt to your skin.
Do Tuck in the Tail of Your Shirt
While wearing FR clothing, if your shirt is not properly tucked in, heat and flames can travel under the bottom of it and cause greater injury. They have FR clothing with long shirttails to prevent this from happening.
Don’t Roll Up Your Sleeves
Covering yourself with FR clothing but leaving your arms exposed doesn’t make much sense, does it? Keep your arms protected!
Electrician Safety Is Key for Everyone
Professional electricians follow these rules to help avoid fires, shocks and death while working on the job. You don’t have to be a pro to know these tips, however. In fact, if you’re working with electrical equipment, you’ll want to follow these tips correctly to avoid potential hazards, too.
Though there are “a few” home electrical tasks that you might be able to handle on your own, it’s ALWAYS better to consult with an expert before getting started.
A certified electrician can assess the issue and provide you with the right solution at an affordable rate. Hiring a professional is the best way to get to the source of the electrical issue and fix it for good, so it doesn’t cause other problems or worsen over time.
To schedule an appointment, or get an estimate, contact our team today. We proudly serve families throughout the Twin Cities and St. Cloud areas. Whether you have a repair or emergency, our team is always close by and always already to help!