Instant power at the flick of a switch or turn of a knob is a luxury in today’s world that we take for granted. From morning till we hit the pillow at night, our life is dependent on electricity. As per recent research, almost 1500 people die due to electrocution from different power tools and cables in the United States. Most deaths occur due to the usage of high and low voltage electrical appliances. Therefore, people must pay much more attention to the potential hazards of electricity in public safety campaigns. There has to be proper education on the safety precautions people must take while working with electricity. A minor mistake or irresponsibility can be dangerous and might cost you your life.
In this article, we will discuss five safety measures that one must take when working with electrical devices.
1. Keep Your Body Dry
Long back when it used to rain, and people used to ring doorbells, they used to feel a slight shock and tingling effect in their fingers. That’s when people realized touching electrical devices with watery hands can cause electrocution.
When you encounter any electrical tool with wet hands, there is a high possibility that the switches get wet, and water then creates a conducting path between the switch and your body.
This mistake can cost you your life. Sometimes the cables of specific devices do not have a proper coating or are broken. Touching those exposed parts with your wet hands accidentally can cause electric shocks. Therefore, make sure never to contact switchboards or any electrical device using wet hands or body. Do not use any electrical equipment in a damp area. Make sure your hands and body are completely dry before dealing with such devices.
2. Do Not Use Broken Equipment
As mentioned in the last point, with the passing time, the wires and cables become damaged, and instead of fixing them or replacing them, we continue using them. This is again a major cause of electrical accidents. One must immediately replace non-functioning or frayed cables that have exposed wires. Someone can accidentally touch these damaged wires with wet hands and get shocks. The bigger the wires and appliances, the worse can be the electric shocks. The usage of extension cords also comes with a risk of overcrowding of cables. Overstressed extension cords can worsen and cause a dangerous fire or electric shock. So, avoid overloading and overuse of extension cords.
Moreover, it is also essential to use a safe extension cord with insulation against moisture, abrasion, and sunlight. Usage of these extension cords for both indoor and outdoor purposes is safe and prevents any fire hazard or electric shocks.
3. Turn Off The Mains First:
Even if the electrical equipment comes in contact with water, it can increase the risk of electrocution, especially if it has poor insulation. So, never leave the main switch on to avoid any chance of terrible incidents. The second thing to make sure is to switch off the equipment first and then insert the charger in the socket and turn on.
In case you notice water around any electrical equipment or cable, then switch off the primary power connection first and foremost, followed by unplugging the cable and, finally, dry it out. A dried cable ensures that the device is safe to operate. You can also call a certified electrician to check the equipment and confirm that it is safe and out of danger before switching the device back.
4. Use Rubber Gloves:
If you are someone who deals with a lot of electrical appliances or you are working in a factory, take care of yourself using rubber gloves. You must avoid touching anything in a factory with bare hands. Carry a pair of insulated rubber gloves, which will provide significant protection for electrical workers. The gloves should be of proper fit to suit your hands. Using good quality insulating gloves like leather protectors will protect from any cuts and nicks caused while handling electrical components.
5. Ladder Safety:
Ladders are essential equipment used both indoors and outdoors for dealing with electrical connections. When using outdoors, scan for hidden wires and barriers that you might crash into, which can be dangerous. Power lines and phone lines often appear overhead. Carefully check these lines, as these lines can transfer electricity into a piece of metal or a wet branch that touches it. So, look out for these things before stepping on the ladder.
There are varieties of ladders, but while dealing with electricity, one should avoid using metal ladders. Choose a non-conductive ladder like a wooden or fiberglass ladder that will not conduct electricity. Most people use steel or aluminum equipment for fixing electrical things on a height. But this is a significant mistake. A slight electrical shock can easily pass through your body and can cause death as well. Instead, use a wooden ladder or any insulated ladder to prevent the pass of current through your body. Fiberglass ladders are also an excellent choice though a little expensive, but they last longer and provide safety from electrical conductivity. Additionally, ensure that the ladders you use are clean and dry to prevent electrical conductivity.
While carrying the ladder, lower it to avoid touching it with any overhead power lines. Avoid working on a ladder on a windy day, as the ladder can slip and touch the overhead wires. Before escalating up the ladder, make sure to securely install the ladder footings on solid terrain to prevent it from moving. Also, in the case of an electric shock to the person holding ladders, do not try to remove the person with your hands. Instead, use a long dry wood or rope to push them away from the ladder.
So, these are the precautions one must take while dealing with electricity. You must also conduct your own research to understand further the safety measures to undertake at home, especially when you have small kids running around. These steps are life-saving tips. Hence, make sure to share it with your loved ones to ensure their safety as well.