Homeowner protection against shocks should be kept at the same level that professional electricians protect themselves, and it should always start by planning the job with an attitude of respect for the danger that electricity presents. Before you begin any electrical task, think about these types of protection against shocks — not only for your own good, but also for that of your family.
A shock to the human body can be mild or lethal, but is more likely to be lethal with higher levels of power. Working on a 240-volt circuit is much more dangerous than working with 120 volts, so higher voltage work should always be done by a professional or someone well trained in electrical work.
Planning for safety starts with the use of proper insulation. Before starting the work, each person should put on rubber-soled shoes, remove metal jewelry from hands and arms, and completely separate themselves from any water or wetness. If there is water present, don’t touch it or stand in it while you handle electricity – build a platform to stand on, and add a rubber mat for additional protection.
Another planning factor is having the right tools on hand – use only insulated tools and wear safety glasses. Do not use carpenter tools for electrical work, they are not insulated well enough for protection against shocks. This image is from Home Depot as an illustration, and we aren’t recommending a store or a specific brand. Most home centers and tool stores will carry insulated tools that have layers of plastic and rubber coatings on them. If you touch only the handles, not the metal parts, there will be enough insulation between you and the electrical current so that you will never feel a shock.
The final planning step is to know which breaker in the service panel shuts off the power to the circuit you will work on. Go to your panel and see if that circuit is labeled for easy identification. If not, you’ll need to identify it and shut it off before you can start the work. You may be tempted to skip this step, or you may think you can change a receptacle or a fan or a light without touching any wires. Think like a professional and don’t take that risk. This is the basic safety rule above all others because if there is no power in the circuit, you cannot get shocked. It takes only a few moments more to protect yourself.
Electrical can be deadly so don’t work with it if you aren’t confident in your skills. We’ve been a trusted local Indianapolis electrical contractor for over 35 years and guarantee our work. Give us a call for any electrical work you need done, and we’ll make sure it is completed properly.