07: Ways to Prevent Electrical Shocks in the Home

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Ways to Prevent Electrical Shocks in the Home

A Must-Have Article About Your Home’s Electrical System: Article 7 of 10

[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”22″][video_embed url=”https://vimeo.com/335597202″ border=”yes”][vc_empty_space height=”22″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”hb-custom-sidebar-schedule-homeelectricedusale”][vc_separator color=”custom” accent_color=”#ffe300″ css=”.vc_custom_1577421655064{margin-top: 20px !important;margin-bottom: 20px !important;}”][vc_column_text]Electrical shocks in the home are largely unreported events. If the victim doesn’t die or receive an injury requiring medical treatment, there is no reason to contact an agency that would keep statistics on such things. Even so, safety officers in major electrical companies estimate that there are tens of thousands of electrical shock events annually. Clearly, electrical safety is an area that deserves some attention.

A good starting point is an examination of your home’s is wiring. If you live in a home built in recent years, the wiring will have been installed according to local safety codes and inspected by a municipal inspector, so the wiring itself shouldn’t be a problem.

For homes more than 20 years old, there is a good chance that electrical codes have been updated with more stringent safety measures. In that case consider getting a full house wiring inspection, done by a licensed electrician, who would be aware of current building codes.

If you have previously undertaken any significant wiring repairs or modifications without the assistance of a licensed electrician, you should also schedule an inspection by a licensed electrician.

If a total wiring inspection isn’t called for at this time, you can do a quick safety check yourself that will cost little and shouldn’t take long at all. To complete it, you will need a circuit tester that you can get at any hardware store or home improvement center for under $30. With that in hand, check all of the electrical outlets in your home. Just go around the house plugging the tester into each outlet. It will instantly test for all of the problems that can occur in an outlet and display the result so you will know immediately if there are problems and exactly what they are.

If there isn’t a problem with faulty wiring almost all electrical shocks occur when someone is trying to do some minor electrical repair, like replacing a light switch, electrical outlet or light fixture, or trying to repair an electrical appliance. All of these are minor repairs, typically not requiring the help of an electrician, but they do call for caution.

The key to safely completing any of those repairs is as simple as making sure there is no electrical current flowing to the work area.

In the case of electrical appliances, the key to safety couldn’t be simpler, just unplug it before you work on it.

In the case of the other electrical repairs, you will need to determine which circuit breaker controls current to the work area and turn that circuit breaker off.

At that point, you should be completely safe in starting your repair, but there is a second step that you should take to be absolutely certain the right circuit breaker was thrown and there is no electricity flowing to that repair site. That step requires another inexpensive tool that can also be found at any hardware store or home improvement center. A continuity tester is a very simple and inexpensive device is often available for under $10. Typically, it consists of a light (usually a LED) and two wires ending with metal probes. You touch the two metal probes to the two wires supplying current to the item you are working on. If there is current, it will light up. If there is no current, it won’t. A simple tool, a simple test, and complete confidence in your safety as you do your repair.[/vc_column_text][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”hb-custom-sidebar-schedule-homeelectricedusale”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]

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