When installing any type of wire or wiring system, there is always risk involved. These risks of course include harming yourself, someone else or loss of property if the wires are not properly installed or necessary precautions are not taken.
There are a few proactive measures you should take when you are working with or installing wires. Keeping the following tips in the forefront of your mind will help to make sure you do not cause any harm to your property and keep safe you safe at the same time.
Make Sure the Power is Off
- Check the breaker or power source and make sure the power is always off before starting any electrical work. Lock the breaker if possible or if cannot, make sure everyone in the area knows it is turned off for a reason and leave an easily noticeable note that you are working on the electricity. It’s logical but critical for a safe work environment.
Wear Safety Glasses and Protective Clothing
- Covering your eyes is a must when dealing with electricity. You do not want sparks or other debris to get in your eyes. Also, wearing long shirts, pants, gloves, and thick soled shoes are also a good idea. If the environment is outdoor or large scale, working on a project like laying pipeline with tracer wire, a hard hat may also be needed along with other construction environment safety gear.
Always Test First
- Use a voltage tester to test the wires and connections before you begin working on them to make sure they are indeed dead. This will allow you to accurately judge the work that needs to be done and select the product and tools you need to use.
Have the Right Tools On Hand
- As with any job, you need the correct tools to complete it properly and do it with safety in mind. Having the right tools for a wire installation is detrimental. Some tools include: a voltage tester, wire cutters, wire and cable strippers, needle nose pliers, continuity tester, and others. For large scale jobs such as installing ground cables, you may need a wire trencher or other digging equipment or heavy machinery.
Check Your Work
- Before you close up the hole or call the job “done,” check your work! The last thing you want is there to be a loose connection and the whole project to go up in flames – literally. Electrical fires are known to spark at any time and cause considerable damage and tragedy. Pull on the connections to make sure they are secure. Turn on the electricity and make sure everything works correctly and starts up without incident. Also, check the casings with a voltage tester to make sure they are not electrified. Use the right insulators for longer life spans too.
It is best to have a trusted, professional electrician do any electrical project. But if you’re handy, follow all safety precautions from the beginning to the end of a project to help ensure the safety of you, your neighbors and your property. It will also guarantee the longevity of the work. Be prepared and check your work as you go.