Electrical Safety provided by ServiceMagic.com.
Electrical safety is an important part of responsible homeownership. It requires that you always follow the proper procedures when working with electrical outlets and wiring. Remember, electricity can be deadly. If you're not experienced in electrical work, it's always best to call in a licensed electrician to perform repairs or improvements. That being said, here's some basic tips on working with electricity in your home to keep you as safe as possible.
Electrical Safety for the DIYer
As has already been mentioned, the most important aspect of doing any electrical work on your home is that you understand the potential dangers you might be facing. Electricity can cause serious injury and death if not handled properly and improper wiring and installation work can lead to serious house fires. Again, if you're not sure about your ability to work with electricity, call in an electrician. If you've got some experience under your belt, however, here are a few basic rules you should always be sure to follow.
Never Work on Live Wires!
Whether you're wiring a new addition or just changing out an outlet, never do any electrical work unless you've flipped the proper breaker at the circuit box. Sounds like common sense, but you'd be surprised how many homeowners fail to follow this very basic, and potentially life saving, advice.
Install Safety Measures
If you're doing electrical work anyway, think about installing safety products such as GFCI outlets and AFCI's in your home. GFCI outlets automatically cut power if a ground fault occurs, meaning they will save your life if you somehow end up on the receiving end of an electric current. AFCI's are another safety measure that you install into the wiring itself. They detect arc faults that are a common cause of electrical fires, and break the circuit before fire breaks out.