Although it's prudent to hire a licensed electrician to handle any significant electrical jobs in your home, there are a number of simple jobs that even a novice can successfully complete. While it's important to brush up on the specific task you're preparing for to ensure you complete it correctly, it's also valuable to take a safety-minded strategy. When you're working with the electricity in your home, a simple oversight can leave you with a nasty shock. As such, it's of paramount important to approach each job carefully. Here are three tips that will keep you safe.
When In Doubt, Kill All The Power
If you've learned enough about working on your home's electrical system, you'll know the importance of turning off the appropriate circuit breaker before you begin a task. When you stand in front of your breaker panel, you'll notice that each breaker has a corresponding label -- and, in some homes, you'll notice that some breakers aren't labeled at all. If the room in which you're working isn't clearly defined on the panel, or if you're not confident in the accuracy of the labels, ensure your safety by switching off all the power in the home. You'll be able to do so by using the large switch that's typically found at the top of the panel.
Invest In A Voltage Tester
A digital voltage tester is a valuable tool to keep in your toolbox when you're planning to handle any electrical jobs. By turning it on and touching it to anywhere you're working, you'll be able to learn if there's voltage that could shock you. For example, if you decided to switch off a specific breaker instead of the main one, your voltage tester can indicate whether the outlet is still live or if it's turned off as you believe it is. Voltage testers are inexpensive and can serve as a valuable ally to keep you safe on the job.
Avoid Wearing Metal Objects
When you think about the electricity in your home and how to avoid getting shocked, the last thing you might consider is what you're wearing. If you're wearing a metal ring, bracelet or watch, it can serve as a strong conductor of electricity and can increase your risk of getting shocked if you're working near anything that's live. Additionally, a long-sleeved shirt with a metal cuff button can have the same effect. When possible, ensure that your limbs are free of anything made of metal.
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