Electricity is one of the most impactful innovations of all time. It is used to power up homes, businesses and industries. It also powers up the appliances and electrical equipment used in these buildings.
Yet, electricity has the potential to cause injury that could lead to death if it’s not used or handled well.
Between 2012 and 2016, 739 people lost their lives as a result of exposure to electricity at work, according to a report compiled by the NFPA.
This statistic shows just how fatal exposure to electricity can be. Ensuring electrical safety is, thus, crucial for anyone who uses electricity, or works with and around it.
While it is virtually impossible to completely eliminate the risk of an electrical injury, steps can be taken to mitigate this risk.
One of the best ways to reduce the number of injuries and deaths resulting from electrical hazards is to learn electrical safety skills.
Here are 5 critical electrical safety skills you should know about.
1. Learn the Correct Use of Electrical Equipment
Even if you don’t work with or around electricity, you use it at the very least. Homes and businesses use electricity for lighting and for operating various electrical equipment. These include appliances and electronics.
Prior to operating any electrical equipment, it is important to know how to use them correctly.
Read and understand the user manuals that come with new appliances and electronics. This helps to reduce the potential for electrical hazards.
As well as improving safety, following the instructions included in the user manual also helps to protect the manufacturer’s warranty.
For applications where there is no user manual to consult, it is always best to seek out advice from a qualified electrician.
2. Don’t Use Faulty Electrical Equipment
A common mistake many people make is to use appliances and electronics that are not working well. Most of the time, they assume that the problem isn’t too serious to warrant repair attention.
Using faulty equipment usually leads to costlier repair issues. This is because minor electrical issues tend to exacerbate over time.
Plus, operating faulty equipment increases the risk of electric shocks and burns from touching live components.
Product warranties offered by manufacturers don’t cover extensive damage resulting from use of faulty equipment.
As soon as you discover that your electrical equipment isn’t working well, you can take it back to the manufacturer for repair provided the warranty period hasn’t expired.
If the product warranty has expired, immediately contact a qualified electrician for repair service. If you lack the requisite diagnostics skills, don’t try to fix the problem yourself. You’ll only put yourself and others in harm’s way.
3. Get Trained on Electrical Safety
Who said you must be a budding electrician to learn about electrical safety?
As almost everyone is exposed to electricity in one way or another, getting electrical safety training is essential.
If your employer doesn’t provide electrical safety training for their staff, consider enrolling in the training yourself. This may mean paying for the training out of pocket, but this may be much cheaper than hospital bills resulting from electrical injury.
If you’d like to learn more about electrical safety training, feel free to read this SafetySkills blog.
As part of the training, you’ll learn about potential electrical hazards and what to do to stay safe when working with and around electricity.
Getting trained on electrical safety can give you the confidence you need to take on DIY electrical repairs.
If you’d like to automate your home and home security, check out our blog on top nine smart home security solutions.
4. Schedule Regular Maintenance of Electrical Equipment
Manufacturers of appliances, electronics and other electrical equipment normally recommend the best maintenance schedule for their products. It is advisable to stick to this regimen whenever possible.
During routine maintenance of your electrical equipment, the electrician will inspect various components to check for signs of damage. Damaged parts may be repaired or removed and replaced.
Where parts replacement is required, your electrician will choose compatible spares for your equipment.
Don’t overlook the importance of arranging for regular maintenance of your electrical equipment. This small investment can increase the working lifespan of the equipment, but also improve safety.
Well-cared for electrical equipment is safe equipment. Neglected equipment could be dangerous to operate.
5. Watch out for Potential Electrical Safety Hazards
Don’t wait until it is time for scheduled maintenance to give some thought to your electrical equipment.
Between visits that an electrician makes to your location for maintenance service, you should watch out for any trouble signs.
Flickering lights and naked live wiring, in particular, are never a good sign. If you notice these signs, get in touch with an emergency electrician post-haste.
They’ll fix the problem before it can cause harm to the people in your building.
Use Electrical Safety Skills to Stay Safe
Although the risk of electrical hazards can never be eliminated completely, the risk can be reduced.
Following best practices for electrical safety can help to reduce such hazards.
Keep in mind that no single skill is adequate to ensure electrical safety. Learn as many electrical safety skills as possible to improve your safety.
Keeping tabs on the latest trends in electrical safety can help you stay ahead of the learning curve.
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