Do-it-yourselfers should have a healthy respect for electricity, regardless of the voltage. Just as someone can drown in a very small amount of water, you can get electrocuted and die from low voltage as well as high voltage so never assume that you are in no danger because you are only working with low voltage. While your body has a pretty high resistance to low voltage, if certain conditions are present, your body’s resistance could be lowered and suddenly low voltage becomes more dangerous.
Take Precautions When Working With Electricity
Most people aren’t going to attempt to work on anything electrical while standing in water or clutching a metal pole, but there are other things that could be dangerous that you should be aware of and either avoid, or take proactive measures. For example, wearing jewelry while working on electricity could have dangerous consequences as metal is a powerful conductor of electricity so make it a habit to remove all jewelry before you start your electrical task.
While you wouldn’t attempt to work on anything electrical while standing in water, avoid anything wet while you are working on electricity. That means even damp floors or wet ground or even wet clothes. No one puts a hairdryer in a full bathtub on purpose and most people really don’t need the disclaimer about not attempting to dry your hair while in the shower, but the point is to completely avoid anything wet while working on electricity. Assume that anything wet will spill or that you will trip and combine the two. In order to ensure your safety, keep wet things and electricity far from one another.
Make Sure the Electricity is Really Off
Even if you flip the breaker you know will shut off the electricity to the source you are working on, test it anyway. Don’t ever feel you’re too advanced to take simple precautions because this is when the combination of you and electricity becomes dangerous. Also, don’t take anyone else’s word that the electricity is actually off; test it anyway with your voltage meter or tester.
Use Proper Tools When Working With Electricity
There’s a reason why electricians work with tools with insulated handles and you should too. You may already have plenty of screwdrivers, pliers, and wire cutters but if you are going to be working on anything electrical, splurge and get the tools with insulated handles. This is a small price to pay for your safety and you run a much greater risk of being shocked by working with metal tools with no protection. Using common sense and taking simple precautions will go a long way in keeping you, your home, and your family safe when it comes to electricity.