Electrical Safety – Basic Information
Note: Static electricity is the accumulation of charge on surfaces as a result of contact and friction with another surface. This contact/friction causes an accumulation of electrons on one surface and a deficiency of electrons on the other surface.
Electric current cannot exist without an unbroken path to and from the conductor. Electricity will form a path or loop. When you plug in a device (e.g. a power tool), the electricity takes the easiest path from the plug-in to the tool and back to the power source. This is also known as creating or completing an electrical circuit.
There are four main types of injuries:
- Electrocution (Fatal)
- Electric Shock
- Inspect portable cord-and-plug connected equipment, extension cords, power bars and electrical fittings for damage or wear before each use. Repair or replace damaged equipment immediately.
- Always tape extension cords to walls or floors when necessary. Nails and staples can damage extension cords causing fire and shock hazards.
- Use extension cords or equipment that is rated for the level of amperage or wattage that you are using.
- Always use the correct size fuse. Replacing a fuse with one of a larger size can cause excessive currents in the wiring and possibly start a fire.
- Be aware that unusually warm or hot outlets may be a sign that unsafe wiring conditions exists. Unplug any cords or extension cords to these outlets and do not use until a qualified electrician has checked the wiring.
- Always use ladders made with non-conductive side rails (e.g., fiberglass) when working with or near electricity or power lines.
- Place halogen lights away from combustible materials such as cloths or curtains. Halogen lamps can become very hot and may be a fire hazard.
- Know where the panel and circuit breakers are located in case of an emergency.
- Label all circuit breakers and fuse boxes clearly. Each switch should be positively identified as to which outlet or appliance it is for.
- Do not use outlets or cords that have exposed wiring.
- Do not use portable cord-and-plug connected power tools with the guards removed.
- Do not block access to panels and circuit breakers or fuse boxes.
- Do not touch a person or electrical apparatus in the event of an electrical accident. Always disconnect the power source first.