Safety is incredibly important when dealing with electricity as it can cause injuries in more ways than one. At the worst extreme electrocution can cause death, but minor accidents can also occur through electric shocks, burns or falls.
As well as getting hurt from direct contact with electrical energy by touching a plug or live wire the tricky thing about electricity is that it can ‘jump’ in what is known as ‘electrical arcs’. Electricity will jump to whatever provides a closed circuit with the ground, and this is often the nearest person. As can be seen from birds sitting on an electric wire without being harmed, there needs to be a closed circuit for electricity to flow through and cause injury.
Electricity can also cause fires which come with their dangers. Electric arcs can produce enough heat to cause thermal burns or materials may catch on fire causing damage and health risks. High voltage contact burns can cause damage to internal tissues that can’t be seen externally. There is also the chance that electricity can cause muscle contractions which can lead to falls and other accidents.
As you can see electrical safety is not something to take lightly. However, there are many ways you can safeguard your home and avoid any problems.
It is wise to regularly inspect your tools and electrical fittings for damage or wear and tear each time you use them. Remember that an unusually hot plug or device could be a sign of a problem so unplug these immediately. Never try to repair these problems yourself, it is always worth getting a professional to avoid any injuries. A good electrician can also show you where your circuit breakers and fuse boxes are located and it is a good idea to label these for quick access in case of an emergency. This can be life-saving knowledge.
Most people remember conductive and non-conductive materials from school. Electricity cannot travel through the wood so always use a wooden rather than metal ladder when working with or near power lines. Water and electricity do not mix, and risk of injury is far greater in wet or damp areas. Again, call a professional, and they can install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters which can interrupt an electrical circuit before it can cause death or serious injury. If there is an accident always disconnect the electricity before touching the injured person. This is the number one piece of advice electricians will give you.