Electrical safety

Electrical safety

How can you be safe when dealing with electricity?

Is a small shock worse than a big one?

Keep reading and keep safe

When I first started out as an electrician, before I amassed tools and books and all my experience I was definitely naive to electrical energy. I knew what it was obviously, it made the tele work and helped us see in the dark.

However, very soon I began to understand about wiring and started by understanding some small electrical tasks.

I was very lucky though! I had a good teacher who supervised me and gave instant answers to my questions if I became stuck. The supervision was more important than I gave notice too. Too many times I was headed for disaster only to have it averted by the boss

We can’t all have our friendly neighbourhood electrician looking out for us all the time. Especially when a plug needs changing or a lamp is playing up.

It’s in these moments that we put ourselves at the most risk and attempt these tasks without supervision and in deed the right know-how.

Electrical safety is day 1 of college, day 2, day 3 and in fact most days for the first few months as you are bombarded with electrical safety in the way of rules and procedures and I can tell you it wears thin.

Unlike water though, electricity is invisible and shows no indication that there is power running through a cable unless you use equipment to detect it, and for the smart alec people out there when I say equipment I do not mean your finger or your tongue.

IF you are going to attempt to work on electrical systems I beg you to be safe. Electrical energy is deadly. There is no safe dose of electrical current as situations always vary. The only way to be safe is to kill the supply.

How you ask?
By switching it off
What switch?
I would advise you just kill the power to everything to be sure. In an ideal world you would find your fusebox, read the label, and turn it off and hey presto. But how many of you have that set up?
How do you kill everything?
You need to find your RED switch. In Britain we have been using red switches as a main switch for decades and it’s very likely yours will be this colour

Mains switch to operate for electrical safety
Your switch will look very similar to these








You have more than 1?
Switch them both off

Ok, so don’t take my advice, leave it switched on you say? It’s only a small shock and then aren’t that bad


A small shock is still a shock and any current passing through the body should never be considered. Unless a person’s heart has already stopped and the paramedic says its ok then you should probably let him get on with

If you pass a current through your body when your heart is running you could stop the heart.
How much current?
Well, let’s put it this way, if a heart can stop at 50mA then your heart needs the same amount of power to stop as what you would use for charging an iPad
No way!
Totally true, a tablet will use around 50mA to charge which could cause defibrillations to your heart which could render you dead
Can I resuscitate someone with an iPad?
There is no app for that. I checked

Don’t skimp with your electrical safety. Society has been doing it for years and electricity always wins. If you play around with electrical energy you could be seriously hurt. If you are ever in any doubt about your safety around electrical equipment or the safety of any other person CALL AN ELECTRICIAN