It is a proven fact that everyone’s lives are almost totally dependent on electricity. A one-hour blackout can send some people into a whirlwind not knowing what to do, are unable to get any important work finished, what they are going to do without electricity to charge their computers and cell phones and more. The dependency on electricity is increasing so it is time to learn sometimes about electrical safety.
Electrical safety is important to know because there are many hazards that can happen from not following the basics of handling electrical appliances and electricity in general. It you mishandle electrical appliances or handle them without using the right safety measures can result in electrical fires. Many fires that occur each year are due to electricity mishandling or not following electricity safety. Adults and children both should learn about electrical safety.
One of the most important things to remember in regards to electrical safety is to avoid exposing appliances and electrical outlets to water. This type of combination can be very dangerous so if you have wet hands do not plug or unplug electrical appliances or touch electrical outlets. If you have any electrical outlets in areas that are water prone like your kitchen or bathroom you should have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). This piece of electrical equipment, in case of exposure to water, will help to prevent shocks.
When you are unplugging a cord make sure that you do not tug on the cord but instead pull out the plug. If you tug on the cord instead of pulling it out by the plug it can result in the exposure of electrical wires. It can also be harmful. Any appliance that you are not constantly using should be unplugged. There are some appliances that generate heat, like your refrigerator and television, which should be located in areas that have an open space around them. This will help to normalize the high temperatures they put out. Make sure that any appliances that generate heat are not cramped up with other appliances around them because they could overheat and cause problems.
Before you plug in any appliance make sure that you are checking the wattage because there could be a variation in wattage that could cause short circuits and electrical shocks, which can be dangerous. Make sure that you do not overload an electrical socket with too many appliances. If you need to use a surge protector instead of an extension cord. Cover any open electrical outlets with a face place to prevent any exposure of open wires.
In the UK during the last financial year, 137 people were killed in the workplace. In addition, 31.2 million working days were lost and 14.9 billion was lost due to injuries and ill health resulting from working conditions.
One of the key areas of office and workplace safety is around electrical items and the dangers these can pose. The hazards can range in size and scale, from electrical cords causing trip risk to full scale electrocution. If control measures are not put in place and regular checks not carried out, then you may be putting your employees at substantial risk.
Common electrical injuries
Office or workplace electrical injuries can take many forms but some of the most common are electric shocks. This is when voltage applied to the body causes electrical current to flow through the person. This blocks signals to the brain which can have a series of mild and severe consequences on the body. These can include muscle spasms, stopping of breathing and heart failure.
Similarly, electrical burns are caused when this current passing through the person causes muscle tissue to heat up. These burns are often very deep and difficult to treat. Although more usual at higher voltages, they can still happen at office level voltages. Other injury types include thermal burns and loss of muscle control.
Identifying the causes
Some of the most common types of electrical injuries in the workplace are caused by:
- Equipment that is poorly installed or maintained
- Dangerous wiring
- Overloaded or overheated outlets
- Accidental use of live equipment
- Incorrect fuse use
- Use of electrical equipment near water
All the above risks and plenty more are entirely preventable if the right safety measures are put in place. With that in mind, there are five key things you can do to make your office and workplace safe for everyone.
Install and maintain safe appliances
Under the Electricity at Work Regulations Act (1989) it is the employer’s responsibility to make sure that all equipment is fit for purpose and does not pose any danger to staff or the public. This includes making sure that all electrical equipment is safe for use in its intended purpose. All equipment should have been subject to the required checks before being brought into the office or workplace. Similarly, any equipment that you use should be installed and maintained by a qualified engineer. Any faults that are discovered should be reported immediately.
Additionally, to check the ongoing safety of office electricals, many companies will conduct yearly inspections such as PAT Testing. In using testing equipment such as Fluke testers, these inspections can help identify any faults in electrical equipment that may be a risk to employees.
Employee training and awareness
Many electrical injuries and accidents are caused by a lack of knowledge or training around certain areas. Staff should be trained to spot the signs of electrical danger, such as frayed electrical cables, odours that signify electrical danger, overloaded power outlets and more. With the right training, they will be able to spot the signs of faulty equipment, and good reporting practice should help to prevent accidents.
Modern offices and workplaces need electricity to function. Almost every aspect of business depends on it. And this electrical current has to come into the building and be arranged somewhere. These places should be safely out of the way and behind closed doors. It is also a good idea to maintain a safe clearance zone of at least one metre from any electrical panels.
Deal with cords
These are one of the main causes of electrical injury in the office for a number of reasons. Not only do they get frayed and expose live wires, but they are also trip hazards. Cords get snagged or tugged, pulling electrical items off work tops, further increasing the risks.
All electrical cables should ideally be well positioned to limit risk. Avoid having cables in high traffic areas where they can be damaged. Keep them clear of heat sources or water and use cable ties to keep cables neatly stowed. Any faulty or damaged cables should be removed or replaced immediately.
Turn off the power
Another major cause of accidents is people not realising equipment is live. Make it common practice to turn off equipment when not in use, shut down electrical equipment and take out the plugs when closing down the office each night. In addition, all appliances should be turned off before cleaning.
Not only will following these tips for electrical safety reduce the risk of accidents and injury to you, your staff and customers but it is also good for business. Reducing the numbers of accidents and sick days taken from avoidable injuries will help to minimise the economic impact. Keeping your staff safe in the workplace really is good for business, in every sense of the term.
Every home has a minor or major electrical work that goes unnoticed on a day to day basis. It may be due to busy schedule or sheer negligence on the part of the homeowner. But, before the situation goes out of the hands, it is better to hire an electrician who can solve all problems easily.
Homeowners prefer an electrician who can finish work in a day. Electrical work includes major renovation projects such as upgrading the electrical panel and repairing the aluminum wiring system. It includes minor repair work such as repairing a ceiling fan and changing lighting fixtures. Small renovation projects, maintenance touch-ups, and troubleshooting are also a part of the electrician’s job.
Homeowners shy away from contacting an electrician because they consider it to be an expensive affair. But the reality is different. To get more bang for your bucks, remember the following tips:
- Amount of work
Before thinking about an electrician, you must make a list of the work which he will be doing for you. The list can include the following things:
· Installing a new device or appliance in your home,
· Wiring new switches,
· Troubleshooting existing problems,
· Repairing the faulty wires, etc.
Simply create a list of all the small electrical tasks which are pending since long. It will save your time and also get you more bang for your bucks.
- Precautions before beginning the work
When you hire an electrician for an entire day, it is possible that your home will be devoid of power supply. For the same reason, keep your electrical devices fully charged and finish all your urgent work before the power supply is cut off. Also, make sure that your refrigerator is empty. If it contains food items, there is a chance that the items will go bad. So, plan well and execute your plan properly before the arrival of the electrician.
- Time of work
Usually, an expert electrician can repair any electrical problem in a time span of 7 to 8 hours. But, a more wide-ranging work will take more time. For example, a list of small repair work can be finished easily in 7 to 8 hours. But if it is a major installation work of a number of appliances, then it will take more time to finish.
Overall, it is the sole duty of the electrician to come with his tools and equipment. Discuss each and every aspect of the work before agreeing to the quote. Moreover, you also have to take care that the electrician works according to the safety standards. Make sure that there is no additional problem due to the repair work. After the work is over, you have to check that the power supply is restored properly.
A safe and shock-proof home is a relief for all homeowners. And electricity is an important part for smooth functioning of every home. A slight glitch and the entire home can be at risk of unwanted consequences. To get more bang from your bucks, hire an electrician who will help you bid adieu to all your electrical worries.
Unpredictable weather such as storms and flood are a part of life. Therefore, it is important to take the time to prepare your family and property.
There are a number of simple steps you can take to protect personal safety, preserve electrical equipment and deal with potential damage to the home’s electrical system. Make sure you are electrically safe by following these 7 tips:
1. Put safety first
Don’t try do-it-yourself repairs if your property suffers storm damage, including your home’s electrical system and any electrical appliances affected. Be ready before a storm or wet season.
– Install a safety switch and test it regularly.
– Know where to turn off your power, gas and water supply in an emergency.
– Pack up electrical equipment that’s not in use and store in a safe place.
2. Protect the system
Ask an electrician with experience in domestic electrical services about having lightning protection installed in your switchboard to protect all appliances.
3. Unplug before the storm
– Unplug outside TVs and non-fixed aerials and store in a dry area.
– When a storm approaches switch off and unplug sensitive appliances or equipment.
– Shut down your solar PV system using the safe isolation procedure.
4. Don’t connect during the storm
Don’t use equipment directly connected to electricity, including the stove, during a storm.
– If you’ve lost power, turn off your power points and unplug electrical equipment.
– Don’t use a fixed telephone during a thunderstorm – it can deliver an electric shock.
– If flood waters are expected, shift electrical equipment to higher locations.
5. Be cautious of wires
Don’t go outside to check the damage before an electrician arrives, especially during a storm, as fallen power lines are easily concealed and can be deadly.
– If you are in a car, stay away from power lines, trees and watercourses. Stay in your vehicle.
– If you have a solar PV system that has been damaged in a flood, storm or cyclone you need to have an electrical contractor inspect the system and check it is safe.
– Check your electrical appliances and equipment. Using water-damaged equipment can result in electric shocks and fires.
6. Call an electrician before your energy distributor
If the wires have been torn down in a black out, most houses will require internal repairs before the power can be reconnected.
– Dispose of or have a licensed electrical contractor repair water-affected household electrical items, such as kettles, toasters and televisions.
– Call a licensed electrician to check all hard-wired electrical appliances, such as air-conditioning units or stoves, intended for re-use. This safety check may be required before the power supply can be reconnected.
7. Be confident in your contractor
If you suffer storm damage connect with a local electrician . If you are using power from generators, it can be dangerous if incorrectly managed.
– Connect your generator to your house electrical wiring using a generator change-over switch and appropriate socket. These switches must be installed by a licensed electrical contractor.
– Do not connect your generator to your house using a power point on a power circuit or any other connection point. This can cause dangerous ‘back-feeding’.
During storm seasons, it is definitely worth being extra cautious with your home electrical systems and equipment. The practical stops you take could reduce the risk of electrical fires and safeguard your family from any potential hazards.
There are a sheer number of projects that you can do inside your properties. But works that involve the electrical system is best left to an expert so as not to compromise the safety and well-being of your loved ones and your property. When electrical issues are present in residential, commercial or industrial buildings, you need to call in a professional and licensed electrician.
Choosing a reliable electrician is important. To help you in your search, here are some questions you can ask your prospective power expert:
What appropriate licenses do you have? This is the first thing you should ask because electrical work is a high-risk job. You would not want electrical jobs in your property to cause accidents or even fatalities. Appropriate licenses will prove a true professional electrician. While this varies from one state to another, you would know if your chosen electrician is qualified to do the work or not. Additionally, you would know if you need to get a permit before the electrical job commences.
Do you have insurance to cover the job? Due to the nature of electrical works, accident may happen as a result of his work. Know that insurance will not only ensure your electrician’s safety but also take responsibility for whatever damage the job may cause to your property. Safety should be the primary concern here.
What other electrical works have you done in the past? In most cases, the variety of electrical works that your chosen professional has done will suffice. For the technical works that you require, opt for a professional who has extensive experience.
Who will work with you? When you are hiring from a firm, they usually have a roster of electricians. It is a good idea to ask who will work inside your home or office. The one you are talking to when you enquire may not be the person who will do job. So talk to the actual electrician who will perform the electrical works before hiring the firm.
Can you provide some references? Note that quality of a company’s work and professionalism can be seen through the references they will provide. Those who have been in the business for a long time will readily show you their extensive list of past and current clients.
The process of choosing an electrician should not be rushed. This needs careful research and vetting in order to guarantee both safety and quality work. Before making a final choice, ask the questions above. A reputable electrician or firm will answer you with confidence and pride.
Source by Denis K Dresser
If you are unsure just what an electrical panel is, it is basically your Command Center for the electrical system in the home. The power may be turned off and on and sent throughout your home to the various outlets from the panel. It is also referred to as your breaker box. In the electrical panel box there are fuses or breakers that will “blow” or “trip” in response to an over current or short. The capacity of the panel is measured in amps and the normal for residential electricity needs use to be sixty amps.
The reason that you may need to upgrade the electrical panel is that with today’s electronic devices and supersized appliances it may not be strong enough to handle all those electrical needs. There are several indications that it is time to upgrade, or replace, your old electrical panel. This is something that you cannot do yourself so you will have to hire a residential electrician to do the upgrade.
One of the indicators is your homeowner’s insurance is demanding the installation of a new electrical panel. Another indicator is having frequent bugs in your electrical system. When mentioning bugs, this means fuses blowing, lights flickering or burning out rapidly, or breakers tripping. The third indicator is having a plan to add to the load of the electrical panel significantly by purchasing a new major appliance, installing an electrical-powered hot tub, or doing a remodel causing an increase in the square footage of your home. The last indication is if you decide that you want to put your home up for sale, it will bring a higher selling price if there is upgraded electrical capacity, especially for your bathroom and kitchen. However, the main reason to do an upgrade is safety. The older electrical panels are more apt to cause a fire due to being overloaded.
Today, the minimum allowable amp for an electrical panel is one hundred amps but you can get amperages in one hundred fifty, two hundred, and four hundred. Your electrician will help you decide which amperage you need by either measuring how much electricity you use or performing a home energy audit. Both are done using a special electric metering system referred to as power analyzer. You may also need to replace old wiring and other upgrades. The cost will vary according to how much amps you need, any additional upgrades or equipment is required, and the cost of a local building permit. In some areas, a master electrician who is licensed can only do this type of electrical work.Source by Lora Davis