Many homeowners these days have become quite adept in various home improvement projects, including basic electrical repairs and installations. For so many of us, changing a light bulb, wrapping open wires with tape, and even replacing old electrical outlets are tasks we can do on our own. Despite the ease and confidence by which we can now do these tasks, it’s still important to keep in mind that electrical repairs of any kind come with a certain amount of risk and danger. Thus, you should always practice the necessary precautionary measures in order to stay safe during and after these electrical repairs.
Use the Right Materials and Tools
An easy way to avoid mishaps while doing electrical repairs is to use the right materials and tools for the job. Never settle for inexpensive, low-quality materials just so you can save a few extra dollars. Remember that when it comes to your safety, spending a little bit more on quality goods is an investment that pays off in the long-run. It’s also important to use the proper equipment for any electrical repair job. If you need to buy replacement wiring or other electrical components, buy items that are the right size, type, model, and so on. If you are repairing an appliance, these details are usually specified in the repair manual. If you’re still unsure as to which items to buy, however, check first; don’t buy items based on instinct.
Double-Check the Materials
You may have brand-new materials, but that doesn’t guarantee they’re completely safe. They may have been damaged during the packing process or while they were in storage in the shop. Before you leave the store, check for any damages or cracks.
Shut Down the Main Power
Before you do any kind of electrical installation or repair, shut down the main power switch in the house. You may not need to do this if you are only changing light bulbs (in which case you need to be sure the light switch is off), but it’s better to be safe. Make it a habit to turn off the main switch even for the smallest electrical repairs.
Have Your House Inspected
You may be careful and responsible in doing your electrical installations at home, but you still need to have your house checked regularly by a professional electrician. This is a building requirement in some places that many homeowners unfortunately fail to comply with. Have your home checked by a professional electrical inspector every five years, particularly if you live in an older house where the wiring may be outdated. Older circuits are designed to supply power to a limited number of appliances and if you plug in all the appliances commonly used in households today, there’s a good chance it will result in a circuit break or blown fuse.
The bottom line: there’s no reason you shouldn’t do your own electrical installations and repairs – as long as you’re capable of doing the job. If you know your skills are inadequate, though, don’t think twice about hiring a professional to do the job for you.