Water and electricity make a dangerous combination. That's especially true in your bathroom, where you use water from the sink and shower to clean yourself, but also rely on electrical devices like shavers and hair dryers. That's why you need to take special care with your devices in the bathroom to protect yourself and your family from shock, electrocution or fire. Read on for tips on how to ensure safety when it comes to the electrical work in the bathroom.
Bathroom Electrical Safety is Paramount
Water is essential to human health and hygiene. Unfortunately, it's also a great conductor of electricity. That means that you could receive a severe shock when you are standing in water, and even wet skin allows electricity an easier path to pass into your body. Electrical shocks can cause burns, heart arrhythmia, nervous system damage and death, and bad wiring or improper grounding can also start a fire. That's why safety in your bathroom electrical work should be one of your primary concerns. Follow these tips to avoid an emergency:
- Make sure your electrical sockets are located a safe distance away from the shower. Cover the outlets when they aren't in use.
- All the outlets in the bathroom should be equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters, which can sense when an electric current is improperly grounding and automatically shut down the power, potentially saving a person holding a hair dryer in the shower from a nasty shock.
- On that note, never use electrical devices in the bathroom when you are standing in or otherwise in contact with standing water. This should be common sense, but sometimes people forget or get careless.
- Any exposed or frayed wiring in the bathroom should be addressed and repaired immediately.
- If you use an electric heater in your bathroom, it should be hardwired into a circuit, and preferably installed into the wall or ceiling.
- The less wiring you have in your bathroom, the better, so recessed or enclosed lights are better than light bulbs or fixtures that hang freely from the walls or ceilings.
- Pull strings for your lights are safer than switches because they prevent wet hands from getting anywhere near the circuit.
- Electrical work must be performed by a licensed professional so you have assurances that the job is done well, and recourse if it isn't.
Don't Leave the Quality of Your Electrical Work to Chance
In addition to these tips, certain requirements about the installation of electrical work in bathrooms are found in local municipal codes as well. For all the electrical work in your bathroom, make sure you hire a qualified electrician who can adhere to all of the applicable quality and safety standards.