As trained, professional electricians we take the utmost care in creating safe homes and businesses for our customers, as well as creating safe work environments for our staff to work in. Safety is key for us. One of our main reasons for The Electric Blog is to educate those who are not trained to be wise with the electrical systems they come into contact with on a daily basis.
It may sound like common sense for us to caution you to be safe with electricity – as it should be – but the simple truth is that electrical systems have the potential to cause harm. Yes, this includes what is inside your home. As stated on the website for the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the voltage of the electricity in regular businesses and homes has enough power to cause death by electrocution. In other words, electrical safety isn’t something only electricians need to worry about.
In light of May being Electrical Safety Month, here are some general take-away tips to keep in mind. After you’ve read through these tips, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the rest of the safety guidelines over at the CCOHP:
Important Electrical Safety Tips
- Inspect portable cord-and-plug connected equipment, extension cords, power bars, and electrical fittings for damage or wear before each use. Repair or replace damaged equipment immediately.
- Always tape extension cords to walls or floors when necessary. Nails and staples can damage extension cords causing fire and shock hazards.
- Use extension cords or equipment that is rated for the level of amperage or wattage that you are using.
- Always use the correct size fuse. Replacing a fuse with one of a larger size can cause excessive currents in the wiring and possibly start a fire.
- Be aware that unusually warm or hot outlets may be a sign that unsafe wiring conditions exists. Unplug any cords or extension cords to these outlets and do not use until a qualified electrician has checked the wiring.
- Always use ladders made with non-conductive side rails (e.g., fibreglass) when working with or near electricity or power lines.
- Place halogen lights away from combustible materials such as cloths or curtains. Halogen lamps can become very hot and may be a fire hazard.
- Risk of electric shock is greater in areas that are wet or damp. Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) as they will interrupt the electrical circuit before a current sufficient to cause death or serious injury occurs.
- Use a portable in-line Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) if you are not certain that the receptacle you are plugging your extension cord into is GFCI protected.
- Make sure that exposed receptacle boxes are made of non-conductive materials.
- Know where the panel and circuit breakers are located in case of an emergency.
- Label all circuit breakers and fuse boxes clearly. Each switch should be positively identified as to which outlet or appliance it is for.
- Do not use outlets or cords that have exposed wiring.
- Do not use portable cord-and-plug connected power tools with the guards removed.
- Do not block access to panels and circuit breakers or fuse boxes.
- Do not touch a person or electrical apparatus in the event of an electrical accident. Always disconnect the power source first.
As always, with any concerns or for anything outside of your expertise or comfort, give us a call! We have a team of well-educated, trained electricians who are happy to take care of your electrical tasks for you.