Put Safety First on Your DIY List

Whether it’s wrapping up the winter projects or getting a jump on spring, rushed and poorly planned electrical work can result in shocks, burns, fires and worse.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International recommends having only licensed professionals do electrical work, but they understand that a certain number of individuals who are comfortable with basic wiring practices will undertake DIY projects. For those individuals, they, along with the DIY Network and other experts, offer the following safety tips:

  • Never attempt a project that is beyond your skill level. Knowing when to call a professional may help prevent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities
  • Learn your home’s electrical system so that you can safely navigate and work on it
  • Always turn off the power to the circuit that you plan to work on by switching off the circuit breaker in the main service panel
  • Test wires before you touch them to make sure that the power has been turned off
  • Never touch plumbing or gas pipes when performing a do-it-yourself electrical project
  • Wiring is rated for specific current loads, so never try to add capacity to a circuit by changing to a larger breaker without upgrading the wire gauge accordingly
  • Never overload an outlet or exceed the wattage limits for lights and other fixtures
  • Never modify a fixture to take lamps or other accessories for which it was not designed
  • Be especially careful with halogen lighting. It burns hotter than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs
  • Avoid working in damp or wet places. If you must work in a wet or damp area, always use a portable GFCI outlet for your tools and be certain the circuit you’re working on is dead

According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2011 (the most recent year for which statistics are cited) nearly 48,000 home fires reported to U.S. fire departments involved electrical failure or malfunction. They resulted in 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries, and $1.4 billion in property damage. So before you try to save money by doing electrical work yourself, consider that the result of a bad job can cost many times more than hiring a professional.

Whether your remodeling project is limited to changing a light fixture, adding additional outlets, or gutting the room to start from scratch, Allstar Electrical Services professionals can make sure that your work is safe and up to code. Allstar Electrical has served the Front Range since 2000. Since then, we are proud to have been recognized by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Independent Electrical Contractors Association with numerous meritorious service awards, and we were named the Front Range Subcontractor of the Year in 2007 by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

The pros at Allstar Electrical are ready to discuss your needs and help you determine the best solution for your home project. Just give us a call at 303.399.7420 or use our handy on-line forms to request an estimate or set up an appointment. Simply go to our Residential Services page or drop an email to us at estimating@allstarelectrical.com for complete details.