When You Decide To Do Your Own Electrical Work, Make Sure Safety Comes First

If you have an electrical project around the home that needs attention, it's often possible to handle it yourself — provided that it's minor enough. While you might feel a little anxious about making sure that you're doing everything correctly, you need to be vigilant about making safety your chief priority. Electrical work can be dangerous if you let your guard down, so it's imperative that you focus on safety in a variety of ways. If you're concerned about the depth of the job, especially where safety is concerned, you're always better off stepping away and calling a licensed electrician. If you do proceed on your own, here are some safety tips to focus on.

Don't Trust The Breaker Box Labels

If you're even thinking about doing electrical work, you should already know about the importance of shutting off the electricity to the area in which you'll be working by flipping a breaker in your home's breaker box. What you might not know, however, is that you shouldn't fully trust the breaker box labels. They're not always correct, which means that flipping the breaker for the upstairs bathroom could actually kill the power in the hallway, but the bathroom could be on a different circuit. If there's any doubt, it's best to shut off power to the whole house.

Invest In A Current Tester

One of the best investments you can make when buying tools for an electrical project is to get a current tester. This handheld device allows you to see if there is current running to any electrical outlet, switch or fixture — after you think you've cut off the power. While a current tester is also valuable as a diagnostic tool for checking current in a fixture that appears to be broken, it's impossible to overstate its value in keeping you safe during electrical work.

Use Non-Conducting Tools

It's always smart to make sure that the tools you'll be using for electrical work do not conduct electricity. For example, a screwdriver with a rubber handle is ideal because even if you touch something that is live and sparks shoot out, the rubber handle should protect you from being electrocuted. Make sure all your tools fit this criteria. Similarly, you should always make sure that your tools are dry. If you're sweaty during hot working conditions, tools can get wet — and moisture increases the conductivity of an object. Don't ever hesitate to dry a wet tool off on a towel before using it, and always keep your hands dry, too.

For more tips, contact a company like McDonald Electric