What Are 3 Things To Avoid When Working Around An Electrical Hazard?

Electricity is seen by many people as a fundamental necessity, even though many people around the world don’t have access to electricity. It powers your home, recharges your phone, and generally exists without you giving it a second thought.

That is until you need to change the installation in your home. Many of the jobs in the home can be accomplished by an experienced and competent DIYer. However, this doesn’t mean you should be doing these jobs! Electricity is potentially deadly, you should be aware of the risks, regulations and when it’s better to call your local reputable electrician Sydney.

There are three main issues to be aware of when working with or around electricity:

Live Wires

It shouldn’t be surprising that this is the biggest hazard. Electricity is designed to carry live current. The power of the current will depend on where you are in the circuit and on whether you have 3-phase electricity or single phase. Voltage ranges from 400v to230v. Either is powerful enough to give you a nasty shock or kill you.

This makes a live wire one of the greatest risks when you are dealing with, or around, electricity. Even if you think the circuit is dead, it may be possible that it isn’t.

Combustible Material

The next biggest hazard is combustible material. Electricity is generally safely contained within the wires. However, if the wires are corroded, damaged, or you are working with it then the inner wires can touch and create a spark. This spark can ignite combustible materials nearby.

The possibilities range from a simple paper-based fire to an explosion caused by a gas leak and the spark igniting the gas. You need to be aware of what combustible materials are near your electrical components.


Lastly, water and electricity do not mix well for you. Pure water won’t conduct electricity. However, it’s rare that you are dealing with pure water, the minerals present in it will allow the electricity to move through the water. It’s difficult to say how conductive the water will be without knowing the exact mineral content. But, it’s safe to say it will conduct electricity.

That means a spark that touches the water will send an electrical charge through the water. If you are touching the water you will get a shock. It doesn’t matter how far you are from the electricity.

How To Protect Yourself From these Hazards

Knowing the main issues when dealing with electricity means you can take steps to minimize the risk and stay safe. This doesn’t change the fact that you are better to contact a qualified electrician and have the problem dealt with properly.

Turn It Off

Before working on any electrical component you need to shut the power of. If you’re at home you can turn off individual circuits or shut the power off to the whole house. Either is acceptable but, you must ensure the power is off where you are working before you start. It is possible the circuits are mislabeled or wired incorrectly.

In addition, it is essential that others know the circuit is off for work, this ensures it cannot be turned back on by accident.

Be Aware

Another important way to protect yourself against electrical hazards is simply to be aware of what is happening around you.

This means knowing if there is a water source nearby, what s combustible, and testing circuits to check for leakage before you start work. You should even consider your access point, standing on a ladder reaching for a cable is never a good option. You must be aware of what is around you and the risks. This will ensure you are properly prepared and minimize the chance of an accident occurring.


You may not think about it but, if you have children, it is highly possible they will put their fingers or an object into electrical sockets. They are simply being curious and exploring their environment. You can’t keep the power off while the children are around but you can get socket covers and inspect every room to ensure there is no risk of electrical shock to children, other occupants, or even to visitors.

Never Work Alone

If something does go wrong and you are by yourself it may be impossible for you to call the emergency services. This is why you should never work on electricity when you are by yourself.

There needs to be someone else present. They don’t need to be working on the electricity with you themselves, they simply need to check on you every few minutes to ensure everything is okay. They can then react if you do have an accident; potentially saving your life.


Anytime you work on electric your focus should be completely on the job in hand. This is even more important if you are working close to a hazard such as water or combustible materials. It’s important to consider what may be distracting before you start work and eliminate the issue.

This includes turning the sound off on your cell phone to prevent you from being distracted by a phone call or message. However, it is a good idea to keep the phone on you, if something does go wrong you may need to call for help.

Final Words

Electricity can be dangerous, whether you receive a shock, start a fire, or cause an explosion. You need to be aware of the risks and the fact that it kills dozens of people every year. Fortunately, the risks can be mitigated simply by being aware of what they are and taking sensible steps to minimize them.

In all cases, t is better to let a professional electrician deal with the issue. But, if you feel you can handle it or have no other choice, then you must take the appropriate precautions and be aware of the risks surrounding you.

It’s the best way of resolving the issue without causing yourself an injury.



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