Common Myths About Electrical Safety

Electrical safety

Do you remember how we have always been advised to not mess around with electricity?

Yes, because electricity is as deadly as powerfully it lights up your home.

We all use electricity, but how many of us do understand it?

Not many, other than the qualified, trained and certified residential and commercial electrical contractors who should always be consulted if you ever find yourself in electrical trouble or emergency with the wires and power switches. Although convenient and cheap, you should never try to repair electrical problems with DIY solutions as this can only put your health and safety at risk. This is especially true for homeowners who don’t have the experience and tools to diagnose and repair common electrical problems.

But despite the constant warning, many of us still try to fix electrical problems on our own despite the several myths and stories that surround this complex subject. A building’s electrical system is complex and made up of different parts. Your inability to understand how each of these parts works can become the reason why you’ll experience accidents and injuries. Regardless of how small or minor, you think the electrical problem is, you should entrust professionals to handle the job for you.

In today’s post, we are going to enlighten you all by debunking some of the common misconceptions that are prevalent for years and have been a significant contributory factor in electricity-related hazards and accidents all around the world:

  • All Power Lines and Extension Cords are Insulated:

If you think that all the powerlines in your home, city, or region are insulated, then you are highly mistaken. They are only a few, out of which may only have a waterproofing coating that offers no protection from electrocution.

Wondering how come then the birds sit on it all day long? Well, the cells and tissues are not strong enough to form a conductive path, so they don’t experience electrical shock, which humans will if they touch it carelessly. Similarly, not all extension cords are waterproof; the ones designed for outdoor use are labeled so. Make sure that if you plan to decorate the outside of your house with lights and have an extension cord connected outside, it should be marked as” for outdoor use.”

It’ll be challenging for anyone to determine which power lines and extension cords are insulated or not. So, if you don’t want to take any chances, it’s best if you leave this job to the professionals. Never attempt to touch any power lines or extension cords because this can only result in injuries and accidents.

  • Household Current Are Not Dangerous:

While compared to factories, manufacturing units, and power plants, the electricity flowing through the home is less, but it is still dangerous to deal with negligence.

Touching electrical equipment with wet hands will give you an electrical shock. This is one of the reasons why people are always reminded to only plug wires into sockets with dry hands.

Don’t assume that using rubber gloves can prevent you from getting hurt because unless the glove is a 1000%, it will conductor electricity instead of insulating you from it; and going by the pattern,  most of the companies manufacture gloves made from rubber supplementing it with elements to make it more durable and comfortable.

Instead of protecting you from electrical shocks, using the wrong kind of rubber gloves will also make you susceptible to electrocution. 

Similarly, rubber shoes unless made from 100% rubber (which is rare) cannot protect you from electrocution. There are countless types of rubber shoes available in the market today, and wearing the wrong pair as you’re working on your home’s electrical system can lead to safety hazards. 

If you have some electrical problems at home that involves heights or electrical posts, it’s best if you work with an expert. Professionals have the necessary equipment to reach heights, such as a cherry picker, and solve any of your home’s electrical problems.

  • You can Save on Startup Penalty:

Many people think that keeping the light on for longer will save on the utility bill significantly by turning it on and off, which is not the case. This concept named, startup penalty, doesn’t exist in practical terms of electricity consumption. Hence every time you are shutting down electricity that is not in use, you are saving money.

  • Digging in the Yard is not Dangerous:

There would be a power and water line going through your yard. A light digging can also damage or break it. Don’t try to dig the yard yourself, call a professional, if you need to set something up. The expert will probe and establish if the dogging area is near to the wires and how far should it be to prevent the possibility of electrical shock.

  • Personal Protective Equipment is Safe against Electrical Hazards:

To fix an electrical issue, you won’t just need personal protective equipment of safety gears but the experience and thorough knowledge of safety procedures; otherwise, you might end up breaking building electricity codes and overlook safety rules. This will not land you with a penalty but might also lead to a life-threatening accident.

Having flame-resistant protective clothing, for example, will be useless if you don’t know how to properly wear it. All of the protective equipment that professional electricians use can be purchased in the market today, but buying them doesn’t guarantee your safety when repairing electrical problems.

  • Wooden Ladders won’t Conduct Electricity:

While it’s true that wood is a bad conductor of electricity, damp wood or wood in metal brackets are not. Hence one should never work on live electrical wiring using wooden stairs unless they are a professional and they are following safety protocols and are wearing necessary gears to protect themselves from any shock.

Having knowledge of electricity and electrical safety myths, it is essential that those with limited experience of operating it, should not take it for granted and only seek the help of a professional electrical contractor, no matter the degree and whether the problem is in a residential building or a commercial area.

Professional electrical contractors come with training, expertise, and experience of resolving various electrical problems, quickly and with 100% accuracy. will save you time, money, and energy, which you would otherwise waste in trying to fix the problem with a DIY video tutorial, inadequate tool, limited comprehension, and zero experience.

  • You Can Always DIY Electrical Repairs 

Many people think that they can DIY (do-it-yourself) electrical repairs. However, it’s crucial to have the electrical background, experience, and the right machinery to complete a successful electrical job. Otherwise, accidents may arise, such as electrocution and fire.

In a report of the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), there are almost 400 electrocutions in the USA every year. About 15% of electrocutions are consumer products-related and 8% are attributed to electrical accidents caused by power drills, sanders, hedge trimmers, saws, and other types of electric power tools. 

So, if homeowners have any electrical issues, it’s best to hire a qualified electrician to assess and resolve them. It’s too risky to DIY electrical problems. However, if homeowners still want to DIY electrical issues, they have to keep the following things in mind: 

  • Learn about home the electrical system to safely navigate it.
  • Homeowners should never attempt to perform a project beyond their skill level to prevent injuries, fatalities, and electrical fires.
  • Make it a point to turn off the power to the electrical circuit breaker in the main electrical panel you’re planning to work on.
  • Unplug any appliance before working on it.
  • Never touch gas pipes or plumbing when performing a DIY electrical project.
  • Test electrical wires before touching them to ensure the power has been shut off.

We would furthermore suggest you go for green electrical professionals that match the global standards and whose sustainable practices will ensure that you are not adding to the degrading conditions of the environment.

You must take all the necessary precautions when dealing with electricity and leave the electrical issues to the professional electrical contractors.