4 Electrical Safety Tips You Need to Know Before Renovating


Electricity is everywhere in what we do these days. So, when it’s time to do a home renovation job, understanding the electrical system will play a big part. Considering all the areas of complication and local electrical codes and standards, you’d do best to hire a licensed contractor. However, for projects you consider worth your time, understanding safety hazards is primary.

Personal Protective Equipment

The first thing is personal protection. Safety glasses are a good idea to protect vision in the event of errant sparks or arc flashes. In wet areas, use rubber boots and gloves. But take care they are 100% rubber. Any mixture with another material can be a conductor and won’t be reliable against electrocution. Insulated sleeves and fire-resistant clothing are added protection, and closed-toed foot protection is always a good idea.

Know Your Color Codes

Wire colors are meant to correspond to a wire’s designated function to enable safety and facilitate troubleshooting. Treat all wires with caution, however, as wires can be misidentified, or previously installed wires could be color-coded incorrectly. The codes are different for AC power and DC power, as well. While the protective ground lines are normally green or green-yellow and neutral lines are white, hot lines for AC differ between countries, and DC colors follow different schemes according to application. Refer to the National Electrical Code (NEC) for guidelines in the U.S.

Power Tool Safety

Power tools result in 400,000 visits to the emergency room every year. Use safety precautions to reduce your risk of injury or electrocution. Make sure the tools are always in working order. Take care the area is dry and clear, and make sure cords aren’t a trip hazard. Never use undesignated electric tools in wet conditions or carry tools by the power cord, and make sure they have three-pronged plug-ins to grounded outlets. Also, use a ground-fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, to prevent the effects a sudden ground-fault, and make sure the fuse box is in working order.

Let the Professionals Handle Electrical Conduit in the Roof

Just as most electrical systems should be left to professional electricians, the types of installations, codes involved, time and effort along with safety and peace of mind call for a licensed electrical contractor who understands roof installations. Not only are they much more knowledgeable about code standards, but they can also identify faults in existing systems, which saves you time and money by avoiding trial and error.

As well, roofs are engineering projects, designed to route water away, which result in more complicated angles and gaps and a higher amount of considerations when safely routing electricity. Roofing contractors who are licensed electricians work with this on a regular basis and will be better suited to assessing your roof and providing solutions. As well, local building codes may not allow you to do unlicensed installations.

Following these tips as well as understanding all the surrounding electrical concerns, including taking your plans into account when making sure you have enough new power outlets or finding out what the power needs of your home will be to avoid future socket overloads, will be a fundamental step in completing your home renovation project.

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