Safety Tips for Working With Electrical Cords and Wires

If you’re working with electrical cords and wires, it’s important to follow safety precautions. This can prevent serious injuries and even death.

Whether you’re a homeowner, a business owner or an employee, follow these tips to protect yourself and your family from the dangers of electricity.

1. Keep Your Hands Dry

Keeping your hands dry is an important safety tip for working with electrical cords and wires. It helps to prevent damage to electrical appliances and protects against personal injury or electrocution.

Water and electricity don’t mix well, so keep cords away from plant pots, aquariums, sinks, showers and bathtubs. These areas can create condensation and a damp environment, which could be conductive and dangerous.

Another important way to keep your hands dry is by using a paper towel or cloth. Aside from removing bacteria, this technique also helps to speed up the drying process.

You can also try the method of rubbing your hands backwards and forwards to dry them. However, there are some risks to this, including the fact that it can bring your normal, non-harmful bacteria to the surface of the skin.

Washing your hands frequently and using an antiperspirant is another good way to keep your hands from getting too dry. Avoid using soaps that are packed with harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances, which can strip your hands of their natural oils. Drinking plenty of water will also help to keep your hands and skin hydrated, which can make them more likely to retain their moisture.

2. Don’t Bend Cords

Bends and kinking in cords can lead to fraying, breakage, and fires. This is especially true for power cords, which are often used to connect devices to outlets.

When bending or pulling cords, use a firm grip on the plug end, not the cord itself. This will ensure that the wire doesn’t suffer from repeated tension force.

Another good way to avoid bending is to wrap your cords in a way that doesn’t introduce sharp bends or twists that can cause stress on the ends. This will make them more likely to last longer, too.

One common mistake people make when rolling their cords is to coil them too tightly and in too small of a circle. They think this will keep them organized and neat, but it actually introduces a lot of twists that may not stretch out if the cord is stiff or stored in a cold environment.

If you’re looking for a more effective way to roll your cords, consider buying some Velcro straps that are designed to be reusable and stay in place when you unwrap them. They’re inexpensive and can be found at most hardware stores. They’ll also help you keep your cords safe from pets and other hazards.

3. Keep Cords Out of the Way

Tangled wires and cords pose a safety hazard for both children and adults. They also attract dust and make your space look messy.

One of the best ways to keep your electrical cords out of sight is to use a cord cover. These can be found at most hardware stores and come in various colors to match your decor.

You can also wrap them in cable sleeves. These protect your wires from damage and also help them stay organized.

Another way to keep your cords out of the way is to store them in a plastic bin. This can double as storage for your electronics or as decor depending on the design of the bin.

If you have a lot of cords, a good idea is to label them. This makes it easier to find the ones you need in the future.

Another great way to organize your cords is by using clips and ties. These are ideal for organizing a wide variety of cords and can be used with thicker cables as well.

4. Don’t Store Cords Under Carpet

When storing electrical cords, it is best to keep them out of traffic areas. This will help prevent them from sustaining heavy wear and tear, and also reduce the risk of them getting broken or exposed.

Keeping cords out of the way also helps prevent tripping hazards and the potential for injury. For example, you can install cable protectors that hide wires inside a plastic or rubber cover and reduce the risk of them getting stepped on.

The same applies to extension cords. When storing them, you should avoid putting them under carpeting as this will cause them to overheat and catch fire.

It’s also important to remember that plugged in appliances still draw power even if you don’t use them. This is called a “phantom load” and can account for 20% of your home’s electricity usage.

To avoid this, be sure to check your home’s outlets regularly for loose-fitting plugs that can overheat and lead to fires. Also, make sure that all unused outlets have safety covers. You can even buy a smart power strip that will cut off the power to your plugged-in appliances when they aren’t in use. This will help to ensure your home’s safety and reduce your energy bill.

5. Keep Cords Straight

A mess of tangled cords is not only an eyesore but can also create tripping hazards. It can also lead to damage and even electrical fires.

A tangle-free setup can make any home office feel more like a work of art, and it can also save you time and money. Before you start hooking up your new computer, TV, printer or any other appliance, take the time to untangle any tangles and label your cords to ensure that you know which ones go where.

The most streamlined way to organize your wires is by hiding them behind a wall-mounted cord cover. You can find a variety of these at your local home improvement store, and they’re a relatively inexpensive and easy way to get your cables out of sight.

Another tangled-cord tidbit is the use of a ribbon twist tie to keep your cords bundled together. These are both practical and attractive, and can be made by wrapping a slit in a piece of non-fraying grosgrain ribbon. The ribbon is coiled around your wires and held in place with some adhesive. This is the best cord-organizing device for the home office. The other is the binder clip, which you can tuck into your desk drawer to organize smaller wires and keeps the big ones from becoming tangled.

6. Don’t Wrap Cords in Tight Knots

Whether you have cords hanging from the ceiling, wall, or floor, they can pose a serious trip hazard to kids and adults alike. Children can easily bite into tangled or loose cables, while older children and adults can twist their ankles after tripping over them.

Knots in the cord can cause short circuits, which can shock a person. In addition, they can cause a fire if the cord heats up.

Tying a knot can also create a trip hazard and make it more difficult for people to grab the cord when they need it. In addition, some cords are designed to be flexible, so tight bends can damage the wires and insulation inside them.

Rather than tying knots, try creating a sailor’s coil, which is a great way to keep cords from coming loose and getting tangled. Start by grabbing the end of your cord with one hand, then wrap it around your other palm so that you have two loops. Repeat this process until you reach the end of the cord. When you’re done, hang your coiled cord on a hook to prevent it from coming unraveled in the future.

7. Keep Cords Clean

Keeping cords clean is an essential part of any workplace, but it’s particularly important when working with electrical cords and wires. Tangled cords can lead to electrocution hazards and can cause electrical arcing.

In addition, tangled cables can attract dust and clog up your workspace. That can increase the risk of a fire, and it can also make it harder for you to find things when you need them.

Keep your cords and wires free of dust by reducing the amount of cords you have and keeping them tucked away when not in use. It’s a simple step, but one that can save you a lot of time in the long run.

You can also try to snazz up your desk with accessories like covers and contraptions that help hide unsightly cords and wires. These can help reduce the tripping risks associated with tangled cords, and they can also prevent them from being crushed when you walk over them.

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