Electrical safety is a primary concern in any type of building, repair, or maintenance project. So regardless of if you are simply planning repairs at home or are planning to undertake a bigger maintenance or repair issue in your business premises, you must make sure that you and everyone else is safe at all times when it comes to electrical hazards.
Some of the most common electrical hazards are electrical wires and cables as well as electrical power sources. Following are a few essential tips on dealing with these common hazards in any home or building:
Dealing with electrical wiring
One aspect you should remember is that electrical wiring may be difficult to see or locate. This makes it even more difficult to deal with. Keep in mind that some electrical wires may have the appearance of pipes as well, often in different colours.
So if you are planning to cut into or drill into any surface area, you should look for any electrical wiring not only in the interior walls but also in the exterior walls. You should also try to find any plans on the building’s electrical installation so that you can easily find any electrical wires that are hidden.
If you are still unsure about the wiring, it is always best to use a cable detector, but only if you know how to use it properly. If you don’t, seek assistance from an electrician or other competent individual. Additionally, if there is any electrical installation or equipment nearby, identify its wiring and where the electrical wires run as well. Lastly, always wear protective clothes to minimise the risk of injury.
Cutting off the power supply – and keeping it off
Again, if you are unsure about how to turn the power supply off, you should have someone competent or qualified do it instead. But whether you are the one turning the power off or are relying on someone else, it pays to know what to check for as well. First, the device or isolator that is used for turning off the supply should be suitable and should also be working properly. You should also check if there is more than one switch for turning off the supply. If there is more than one, have this turned off as well. When turned off, the switch should also be ‘locked’ so it cannot be easily turned on. You should also check the equipment used for assessing the voltage and make sure that it is working correctly.
Once the power supply has been turned off, hold on to the key for the switch or cabinet that contains the switch. If you do not have the key, post signs nearby to ensure that no one accidentally tinkers with the switch without your permission.
It is also important when working around or near an electrical source to identify the cables connected to it. The good news is that electric cables are often colour-coded in order to show their use or purpose as well as their voltage level. But there are different colour standards that are used in different areas in the world, so one colour in one country may not have the same meaning in another country. You should familiarise yourself with the colour-coding of cables in the UK so that you can easily identify the voltage and take the necessary precautionary steps.
Whether you are simply planning to replace or re-install a commando socket or are planning more extensive repairs, you should adhere to various safety measures in order to ensure your safety and alleviate the risks of any accidents due to electricity.
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