Don’t let your diy project turn into a shocker

DENVER, CO - We all know that electricity can be deadly, but did you know that one of the most common sources of electrical shock injuries is when Do-It-Yourselfers fail to observe simple rules of safety?

According to Gary Stone, founder of Allstar Electrical Services, safe work starts with a plan. “Take a few moments to think through what you’re doing and start taking notes before you begin your next electrical project. Write down things like what parts and tools you’ll need,” he says. “And make sure you have the proper permits if your job requires them. Most cities require permits for any improvements in the home or business unless the change is cosmetic only, and then only if the project is not the least bit complicated. It’s for your own safety, so call your local building department first to save yourself a lot of time and aggravation later.”

Residential and commercial remodeling projects are one of the largest segments of business for Allstar Electrical Services doing its electrical contracting business in Denver and Colorado Springs, all along the Front Range in Colorado.

Don’t assume that just because you want to make an electrical change that you can, either. If you want to install another breaker in your electrical service box, you need to be sure there’s room for it. If the service to your home or business (assuming you own the building you office in and are attempting to make the changes yourself), and the service needs to be upgraded entirely, that’s a job for a professional electrician.

When making even a simple change like installing a ceiling fan or changing out a light fixture, check your toolbox first before starting your project. Don’t overlook things like insulated leather gloves, safety glasses and shoes with rubber or other non-conductive soles., not to mention a wooden ladder, Phillips head screw driver, flat screw driver, wire cutters and plastic caps to finish off any wires.

“Keep your frustration level down by making sure you have the little things you may need like electrical tape and wire nuts that are the right size for what you’re doing,” Stone advises. “After several interruptions and trips back to the hardware store, you’re not going to be in the right state of mind to be working around electricity.”

And speaking of interruptions, electrical projects are no place for curious pets or children.

If you’re going to be working someplace where digging is necessary, be sure to call Xcel Energy (Colorado’s dominant power provider) for a free check for buried utilities. Call Before You Dig is a national locating service that will send a professional to assess underground line locations and is available by simply dialing 811. You need to give them at least two business days’ notice before starting to dig. If you damage or cut buried utilities, it not only can injure or kill you, but you may be subject to fines and repair costs.

A clear and organized workspace is important when performing any electrical task, both for efficient work and for safety. And NEVER do electrical work in wet or damp areas or in wet clothing or gloves.

When you’re working on an electrical circuit or in or around a breaker or fuse box, be absolutely sure the power to it is turned off. “An easy way to test whether you have the correct breaker turned off in another room is to plug a radio into the circuit and turn up the volume so you can hear it at the breaker panel,” Stone notes. “When you switch off the right circuit, you’ll hear the radio go off.” Of course, Allstar Electrical Services’ electricians show up on the job site equipped with the knowledge and tools to assess if the power is off or not. Electrical panels and fuse boxes are no place for amateurs or weekend handymen to be working unless they have the knowledge and experience to do it. “Most people don’t realize that the center wires feeding the panel are 240 volts and may still be live even when the ‘Main’ switch is off,” Stone warned.

It’s especially important to know your limitations when it comes to doing electrical work. If you feel the least bit uncomfortable tackling a project yourself, stop and call a licensed electrician. Allstar Electrical Services prides itself on it’s efficient and affordable workmanship and rates. “Most small projects aren’t that expensive and can look like bargains when you consider the potential harm and cost of a botched job,” adds Stone.

For information contact Allstar Electrical Services LLC at (303) 399-7420 or or visit the Allstar website at www.allstarelectrical.com.