Electrical Safety Tips

Our body is composed of 70% water which makes us a good conductor of electricity. Electrical fires claim the lives of more than 500 Americans each year, and injure more than 2300 people. This fact is convincing enough for us to strive towards taking care of ourselves and take precautions from dangerous electrical hazards. Electrical current has a lot of potential to damage our lives if not handled with care. Though system failure and appliance defect are some of the causes of electrical fire, majority is caused by misuse and poor maintenance of the electrical appliances. It is therefore crucial to have your appliances and electrical devices checked by the professionals and to follow electrical safety tips.

Everyday Electrical Safety Tips 

When it comes to electrical safety, there are lots of safety measures to follow. However, danger can come to you without you knowing. All you need to do is think twice before using any of your electrical appliances. You will remain safe that way. If you are unsure or need to fix defect appliances, then you may call for a professional help. Remember, don’t bother fixing, if you don’t know it’s working.

Here are some of the electrical safety tips that you should always practice:

  • Never touch a switch with wet hands.
  • Don’t yank an electrical cord from the wall.
  • Never use anything but the proper fuse to protect a circuit.
  • Correct all the overloaded circuits.
  • Make sure your power lines stand at a height.
  • Keep ladders, lines and other equipment away from the overhead power lines.

Why Electricity is Dangerous?

Electrical current is a form of energy which can harm people when electrical current passes through the human body. Since electricity is a form of energy, it can cause fire, as a result of electrical faults and overheating. Electrical hazards can cause from minor to fatal injuries depending on magnitude, duration of contact and the current’s pathway to the body. In addition, the greater contact with the good conductors, while in process of electrical fixings, can lead to fatal injuries, or may cause immediate death. While you may get a shock when you touch the door knob or highly charged clothes, the real electric shock is lot more painful. It passes through your body in the speed of light and crushes all the cells, causing several burns.

Health damages associated with electrical shock

  • Constriction in lungs
  • Nerve damage
  • Cells damage causing several burns
  • Disruption of heart function
  • Muscles tightening

The reason that humans are more vulnerable is the maximum percentage of water in the body that creates an easy path for the electrical currents to pass through the body.

How can people get into contact with electrical current?

Electrical current pose great threat to humans in everyday lives. People use electrical devices almost all the time, whether they are in their office or home- watching TV or working on a computer. It is evident that people directly or indirectly come into contact with the electrical current.

Direct Contact

You can come in contact with electrical current as of following:

  • Trying to open up an enclosure, e.g. for repair and maintenance works
  • Defective/damaged enclosure or insulation
  • Unsafe design of equipment

Indirect Contact

You may come in contact with electrical current with energized conductive parts

  • Electricity leaking out of the case
  • Inadequate grounding

When there is a significant risk for people.

Sometimes, it is possible that people are at significant risk of contact with electric current. People are at risk;

  • When “excessive” heat is generated by the electric current
  • When electrical works are not carried out according to safe work procedure

Leading causes of Electrical Accidents

Electric Shock has always led to the majority of deaths. More people are prone to get electric shocks, among many other electrical accidents. Now, what are the leading causes of electrical accidents? The answer is simple, either they don’t really know how to handle electrical equipment or they try to handle it knowing it is unsafe. And in rare cases, minor slips or accidents. Now, despite the fact that it is mainly the lack of skills and knowledge in the people that is the cause of all the injuries. Here are some of the major causes that lead to electrical accidents.

Unsafe Equipment

  • Loose connections
  • Faulty insulation
  • Improper grounding
  • Use of “homemade” extension cords
  • Defective parts
  • Unguarded live parts
  • Bare conductors or exposed terminals

Hazardous Environment

Use special precautions when working in potentially hazardous environments and situations. Even an accidental static discharge can cause a fire or explosion in areas where the following are present:

  • Flammable vapors, liquids, and gases
  • Combustible dusts
  • Corrosive atmosphere
  • Explosive environments
  • Poor housekeeping:  blocked electrical boxes, flammable materials stored in equipment rooms, lack of proper hazard signs, excess clutter.

What can be done to minimize the risk of dangers?

Electrical Appliances

Check your electrical appliances if it requires fixing. Your electrical appliances may be in dire need of repair if they are spotted worn out, with wires corroded, loose terminals and any other component that is out of place. Shocks are fatal. If any appliance or device gives off a tingling shock, turn it off. Get a qualified person to repair all your faulty devices.

Electrical Heating Equipment

Electrical Heating Equipment should be kept away from combustibles, and made sure that they cannot be tipped over. Keep electrical heating equipment in good working condition. If it is portable, do not use the equipment in bathrooms due to a risk of contact with water. Look for cracks and breaks in the wiring, plugs, and connectors.

Children

Electricity can be greater threats for children. Therefore, it is required to teach the children early about the electrical safety. Make sure you keep all the electrical equipments or appliances away from toddlers. Teach children about the hazards of misusing the electrical appliances. Do not allow them to climb trees near power lines, utility poles or high tension towers. Make sure all the electrical appliances are in safe working condition.

Electricity and Water

We all are good conductors of electricity. Never touch electrical appliances while standing on damp floor or in water. Do not touch any electrical appliance with wet hands. Never use any electrical appliance while in the tub or shower. A body can act like a lightning rod and carry the current to the ground. We can easily conduct electricity, particularly when standing in water or on a damp floor.

Animal Hazards

It’s not rare that animals could cause a major damage to electrical wires. If mice and other rodents are suspected, take action to get rid of them. Being aware of the damage and taking care of it on time could save you from costly damages in the future.

Electrical safety is a must to practice no matter where you are. As it might take a while for us to master the art, we should be careful. It wouldn’t take a long time for the electrical current to strike us down, once in contact. Don’t let your lives be claimed by dangerous electrical hazards. Practice it right and you’ll be safe.

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