Electricity is so entrenched in our lives that one can easily forget it has potential voltage to kill if used incorrectly. Sometimes when electrical outlets fail us we are tempted to try and fix them ourselves, not such a good idea. Here are some electrical safety tips to keep you safe.

Tips when you are too close to overhead power lines

Make use of the recommended distances that vary by utility companies or jurisdictions. Working, driving or storing materials should be more than 15 meters away from overhead power lines. If your vehicle comes into contact with a power line, remain in the vehicle and call for help. Never rescue anybody if you are not an expert. If you must leave your car jump at least 45cm and don’t touch any part of the car. Keep legs, arms and the feet together.

Safety tips when working near electricity

  • Inspect extension cords, portable cord and plug connected system, and any fittings for damages before
  • Tape the extension cords to the walls or on the floor. Staples and nails can spoil the cords causing
  • Use the correct fuses

Tips on working with power tools

  • Switch off all the tools before connecting them to power supply.
  • Always disconnect the power supply when having a maintenance or making home adjustments.
    Ground or double insulate your tools properly. This should be a 3-wire cord with a 3-prong plug which should be grounded on a 3-pole outlet.
  • Use a continuity tester to test all tools for effective grounding.
  • Avoid bypassing the on/off switch
  • Don’t use electrical equipment in damp or wet conditions unless the system is connected to a Ground
    Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)
  • Never clean your electrical tools with flammable materials or toxic solvents.

Safety tips for working with power cords

  • Keep a safe distance between the power cords and the tools during use.
  • Keep the extensions suspended during use to avoid stumbling or tripping hazards.
  • Replace all the open plugs with dead front plugs.
  • Light duty extension cords should not be used for commercial or industrial purposes.
  • Don’t tie cords in tight knots because they can short circuit. Just loop them or use a twist-lock plug.

Checklist for basic electrical safety

  • Check electrical cords on a regular basis.
  • Don’t plug several items into a single power outlet.
  • Pull from the plug and not the cord.
  • Do not break off the third prong on a plug

Know that extension cords are not permanent wiring. Use them as temporary power supply where there is no power outlet. Keep the extension cords away from the heat, flammables or water. The extension should be kept in a protective wire-way, pipe or conduit.