You'd probably love to save yourself some money by taking on a few of your much-needed home improvement projects yourself and not hiring a contractor. Electricians can be pretty pricey, and quite a number of people figure that they can handle the electrical work themselves.
Any major wiring projects should always be done by a professional, but there are a few minor projects you could do yourself. Even though they're minor tasks, there's still danger of electrical shock involved with them.
While getting shocked is a prime concern with electrical projects, an electrical fire can also be involved if you don't take special precautions to protect yourself and your home.
Here are some tips on how to stay safe the next time you work around wiring:
First of all, it's important that you shut off the power in the area you are planning on working in. Don't just turn off the switch, but make sure that you cut the power off at the fuse or circuit box.
Everyone in the house needs to know your plans, and be sure that the kids are nowhere near your work area. As an added precaution, tape down the power switch so that someone won't turn it back on by mistake.
As you start work, continue to treat the area as if it were still connected. Be careful and don't rush. Choose a time to work when you won't be disturbed. Any errors can be deadly, so you want to be slow and methodical.
You'll want to use a fiberglass ladder, since it will not conduct the electricity. This way the ladder can absorb any electric shock that may occur. Make sure that you have rubber soled shoes on as well, which will help to absorb the electrical shock if one happens.
A power tester will be useful for checking that there is no power in the wires before you start to work on them. If by chance you turned off the wrong wire, a quick check before you begin will let you know if there is a problem.
Avoid working in areas that are wet or damp. Water and electricity don't go well together. Make sure that you dry the area before you perform your project, and make sure that you dry even nearby damp areas as well.
Make sure you know what you're doing before you do it. Taping the wrong wires together can result in a major electrical fire when the electricity is turned back on. Do it correctly the first time and you can avoid that kind of catastrophe.
You can certainly save some money doing small electrical jobs around the house, but be sure to treat them seriously. Even if you've already started the job, if you discover that it's more than you can manage, get a professional. It's not worth risking your home or even your life.
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