Electricity is a marvel of modern living, providing us with a persistent and powerful source of energy that brings unprecedented convenience into our homes. Try to imagine life without being able to flick on a switch to illuminate a room with bright light at night. So many of the appliances and devices we take for granted, such as televisions, computers, dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators, air conditioners, and even furnaces, hot water heaters, stoves, and dryers for some households, are totally dependent on electricity to perform their functions.
But all that convenience and power does come with a caveat. Electricity couldn’t deliver all the energy it does if it didn’t pack a major punch, which can be harmful or even deadly if not handled with respect. Careless or negligent behavior around electrical equipment can cause fire, electrocution, equipment damage and other problems. Read on for tips on how to improve your electrical safety at home so you can enjoy the benefits of electricity without creating an unacceptable risk for your family.
You interact with electric devices many times throughout the day. While most are perfectly safe under normal circumstances, you could create a fire hazard or risk electric shock if you aren’t careful about how you treat your electric system.
Most of the time, you don’t need to think about the service lines bringing power into your home. Unless something goes wrong, most power infrastructure is set up to last for decades. However, it is important to take note of where and how your local lines are located so you know to avoid them when doing other work that could interfere with their transmission and create a dangerous situation.
A typical transmission line in a residential community carries 13,800 volts of electricity, while a high-capacity power line that carries energy for long distances can pack up to 345,000 volts. Either is more than enough to kill a person who isn’t prudent enough to keep their distance. Take great care to avoid overhead power lines, especially when performing dangerous activities such as:
And remember, nothing, including rubber gloves, will protect you from the voltages carried by overhead power lines.
Read more about Power Line Safety.
Even if you have your day-to-day electrical safety at home down to a science, you could still encounter unexpected dangers out in the community, most frequently after the grid has sustained damage.