No doubt you'd love to save some money by doing your own electrical home improvement projects around the house. It can be quite expensive to hire an electrician, so many people decide that they are going to do the electrical work themselves. When it comes to major electrical and wiring projects, you should leave them to the professionals; however, there are some things that you can do on your own. Even though most DIY electrical jobs are often minor things, there is still a bit of danger, so you need to be careful.
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.
Make sure that you alert others in the house to what you're planning, and make sure that you keep small children away while you're working. Usually it's a good idea to tape down the switch as well, in case someone accidentally turns it back on because they are not aware of what you are doing.
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.
A fiberglass ladder is your best choice since it won't conduct electricity. If, despite your precautions, there is an electrical shock, the ladder will absorb it. Also be sure to wear rubber soled shoes, which will help to take up any unforeseen electrical shocks.
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.
Make sure the area you're working in is completely dry. Water and electricity are a dangerous mix. Use heaters to dry out the area before you start your project. Even damp patches in the surrounding area should be dried up as well.
It's important that you know what you are doing. If you tape the wrong electrical wires together, you can end up with a fire once you turn the electricity on again. Make sure that you get it right to avoid a disaster.
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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