man throwing circuit breaker at residential service panel

Electrical Panel Safety: What You Need to Know

Electrical panels are powerful and potentially dangerous tools, so it is important to take proper safety measures when working with them. They provide the main access point to your home’s electrical system and must be handled with caution. The following are tips for electrical panel safety you must implement to avoid hazardous situations.

Always Secure the Power Source

Before working with an electrical panel, turn off all power sources to avoid accidents. To turn off the power, locate the main breaker in the panel and flip it to the off position. Ensure everyone working on the project knows the power is off, and double-check all breakers before touching any wires.

Thoroughly Inspect Wiring

Electrical panels can be dangerous due to faulty wiring or other defects. Before beginning any work, it is essential to inspect all wires and connections to ensure they are in good condition and correctly attached. Any frayed or loose wires should be repaired or replaced before proceeding. They should also be labeled correctly for easy identification.

Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs)

Ground fault circuit interrupters are a type of circuit breaker that monitor electricity and detect when the current is not flowing properly. If an imbalance is detected, the GFCI will immediately shut off the power to reduce the risk of shock or fire. They are especially important for protecting against ground faults that may go undetected by other safety measures. You should use GFCIs in any area where water is present, or there may be an increased risk of electrical shock.

Wear Protective Gear

Wearing protective gear such as insulated rubber gloves and safety glasses is important when working with an electrical panel. Other protective clothing, such as long pants, closed-toe shoes and fire-resistant materials, are also recommended. This will help protect against electric shock and pieces of debris that may be present.

Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when working with an electrical panel. If any electrical panel modifications or installations are needed, they should be done by a qualified professional. Improperly installed or modified panels can create numerous safety hazards. In addition, all electrical work should be inspected and approved by a licensed electrician before use.

Do Not Overload the Circuit

It is important not to overload the circuit when installing new wiring or devices. Ensure all wires are securely attached and not overloaded with too many connections which can cause fires. If unsure, it’s best to contact a professional electrician for assistance. They should be able to advise on safely installing any new wiring.

Remember, electricity can be dangerous and even deadly if not handled properly, so it’s important to take all necessary precautions. Working with a qualified electrician is highly recommended. Contact Excel Electric in Eugene, OR for all your electrical panel needs!