DIY – Electrical Safety

Each year, thousands of people in the United States are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires, accidents, electrocution in their own homes. The current economic downturn has inspired more homeowners to tackle do-it-yourself projects than ever before. Faced with declining home values and aging properties, homeowners may choose not to pay for the services of a licensed electrician. However, most do not have the training or experience needed to safely perform home electrical work, increasing the risk of immediate injuries and electrocutions and potentially introducing new dangers into the home. Working with electricity requires thorough planning and extreme care, and cutting corners can be a costly mistake. I will be the first to admit that I or my husband have tackled some DIY jobs to “save” money. Thankfully, he knows his limits and tries not to mess with our electrical.
ESFI strongly recommends hiring a qualified, licensed electrician to perform any electrical work in your home. However, if you do decide to do-it-yourself, consider the following important safety tips before undertaking any home electrical project:
* Make an effort to learn about your home electrical system so that you can safely navigate and maintain it.
* Never attempt a project that is beyond your skill level. Knowing when to call a professional may help prevent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities.
* Always turn off the power to the circuit that you plan to work on by switching off the circuit breaker in the main service panel.
* Be sure to unplug any lamp or appliance before working on it.
* Test the wires before you touch them to make sure that the power has been turned off.
* Never touch plumbing or gas pipes when performing a do-it-yourself electrical project.


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