General safety tips for working with or near electricity
The major hazards associated with electricity are an electrical shock, fire and arc flash. Electrical shock occurs when the body becomes part of the electric circuit, either when an individual comes in contact with both wires of an electrical circuit, one wire of an energized circuit and the ground, or a metallic part that has become energized by contact with an electrical conductor.
The severity and effects of an electrical shock depend on a number of factors, such as the pathway through the body, the amount of current, the length of time of the exposure, and whether the skin is wet or dry. Water is a great conductor of electricity, allowing current to flow more easily in wet conditions and through wet skin.
The effect of the shock may range from a slight tingle to severe burns to cardiac arrest. The chart below shows the general relationship between the degree of injury and amount of current for a 60-cycle hand-to-foot path of one second’s duration of shock. While reading this chart, keep in mind that most electrical circuits can provide, under normal conditions, up to 20,000 milliamperes of current flow.
[better-ads type=”banner” banner=”508″ campaign=”none” count=”2″ columns=”1″ orderby=”rand” order=”ASC” align=”center” show-caption=”1″][/better-ads]
Following are the general safety tips for working with or near electricity
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 exist. 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., fiberglass) 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 maybe 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.
[better-ads type=”banner” banner=”511″ campaign=”none” count=”2″ columns=”1″ orderby=”rand” order=”ASC” align=”center” show-caption=”1″][/better-ads]
Do not use outlets or cords that have exposed the 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.