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DIY electrical safety

Cutting corners can be costly—and deadly

There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing the results of a do-it-yourself (DIY) project you’ve been working on—but are you making electrical safety a top priority when you power up the necessary tools? 

Hiring a qualified, licensed electrician to perform any electrical work in your home should always be your first choice. Most folks do not have the training or experience needed to safely perform home electrical work. Working with electricity requires thorough planning and extreme care. 

If you do decide to tackle a DIY project involving electricity, be sure to follow these safety tips. 

Before starting, acquaint yourself with your home’s electrical system. Learn how to turn off the power to the circuit, as well as how to test wires before touching them to make sure the power is off. Always turn off the power to the circuit you plan to work on by switching off the circuit breaker in the main service panel. 

Also learn where cables are in your wall to avoid drilling, nailing or screwing things into cables hidden in the wall. 

When working on any sort of appliance, unplug it first to avoid risks like electrocution. Here are other ways to avoid electrocution from household voltages while working on a DIY project: 

• Wear rubber-soled shoes or boots when working with electrical circuits. 

• Use tools like pliers, wire strippers and screwdrivers with rubber-coated handles. 

• Always use good quality tools. 

• Never touch plumbing or gas pipes. 

Use personal protective equipment that will help keep you safe during a DIY project, including safety goggles, hearing protection, dust masks and gloves. 

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