Imagine a day without electricity. This might be a day when aliens come to earth and zip out all sources of electrical power in a blink. Or this might be a day when countries all over the world decide for a drastic following of the Earth hour concept with a twist: blackout for a day. Freak out or stay cool? What if this extends for a week, month—or year? Will you be able to keep your sanity?
I bet no is your answer. Otherwise, you’re someone who’s living in a cave in some super rural department of the world. As normal humans in this modern civilization, we consider electricity our best ally as it empowers us to achieve things like communication, lighting, work and the list goes on. But the irony of it is that it also causes a lot of hazards like injuries such as shock, severe burns and destruction of structures and facilities—because of electric grounds.
Seriously, electrical currents have enough power to cause pain that might even lead to death by electrocution. Even changing a light bulb without unplugging the lamp can be hazardous because coming in contact with the “hot” or live part of the socket could kill a person.
You don’t want to face these dangers, right? Understand that there are friendly precautions in controlling electrical hazards and avoiding electric grounds.
1. Regularly inspect for worn-out cords and plugs.
Repair or replace broken or defective, unprotected or exposed, frayed or cut power cords, electrical wires, circuits, overhead lines and conductors for proper usage and safety.
If time is not in your hands, label them temporarily at least to inform family members or house guests of their high leakage potential.
2. Handle electrical cords and connections properly.
Take out “octopus” connections. Do not connect several power cords into one outlet.
Switch tools OFF before connecting them to a power supply. In disconnecting power, pull the plug itself and not the cord form the outlet. Pulling the cord causes wear and may cause a shock.
Do not tie power cords in tight knots. Knots can cause short circuits and shocks. Loop the cords or use a twist lock plug.
3. Install and maintain Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI).
Take this scenario: You’re just out of the shower, all wet and standing on the same wet ground, you plug on the hair dryer to an electrical circuit (without a GFCI) that has hot wire inside. If electricity flows from the hot wire to the ground through you as normally they will, say your last prayers. However, if your circuit has GFCI, as soon as it senses the hot wire, it trips the circuit, cuts off the electricity and removes the shock hazard.
GFCI is the safety outlet that works to monitor electricity flowing in a circuit and sense any imbalance of the flow of the current from hot to neutral. It is a fast-acting circuit breaker designed to shut off electric power when the electrical current leaks outside the path where it should flow to a grounded surface.
Lesson is to not use electrical tools in wet conditions or damp locations, unless your electrical outlet has been installed with a GFCI.