Things That Make You Say "Ouch"!
As an Electrician and an Electrical Designer I have come across a lot of amazing things that people have done instead of hiring a Professional Electrician. People do not realise how dangerous electricity is, how quickly it can kill you, how quickly it can burn you, how quickly it can burn down your home with you and your family in it. Electricity is a beast that does not care who you are, where you are from, how much money you have, all it wants to do is flow, and if you allow it, it will flow through you.
Electrical No No's
High Voltage Safety
High voltage is of course extremely dangerous and is like being hit by lightning, something only a Professional Electrician should deal with. 240v (like your stove, water heater, drier) will kill you just as easy as high voltage, sometimes it will knock you away, sometimes it will hold you with your hands locked around the object you are being electrocuted by. New laws have been passed in the National Electrical Code 2008 to help prevent people from being electrocuted by household appliances. It has passed a law that stoves and driers have to have a 2 hot wires, 1 neutral, and 1 ground, the appliance should have wiring that is specified by the manufacturer and the National Electrical Code 2008 to help protect you from being electrocuted by the appliance.
More No No's
So many people do not realize that you can make contact with your washer (that is wet from damp clothes) and touch the dryer at the same time and be shocked if it is not properly grounded. The same thing goes for your stove, you could be cooking something, spill water on the floor, make contact with the stove and get shocked, and even if you have done this many times with out getting shocked, during the right circumstances you will fry (not just your food)(sorry i am not trying to scare you just inform you). The worst electrical voltage is the standard 110v, or for you nonelectrical folks, television, dvd player, computer, mixer, blender, toaster, clothes washer, radio and a host of other convenience equipment that makes our life's better. These items under the right circumstance's can kill you if your receptacle outlet (plug in) is not properly grounded.
It Can't Happen To Me
Ground Fault Receptacles
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupting outlets should be used above counters spaces within 5'-0" of the sink, otherwise if receptacle is not at least 5'-0" away from the sink use a Ground Fault Receptacle. As an Electrician i make all of the receptacles in the kitchen Ground Fault, but that is my preference for my own use. Your local Electrical Contractor's will very with their ideas for the use of Ground Fault Receptacles, if you have an Architect building your home have him consult with a professional Electrical Engineer for electrical requirements in your state, and the National Electrical Code 2008 regulations (play it safe). I personally have been electrocuted 3 times, and i know what i am doing (ha!), it always happens when you least expect it, especially when working with live wires, i was being careful and still got zapped, you just never know when the beast will strike.
Things Not To Do
Fighting The Beast
The bad thing about a 110v electrical circuit is that it closes your hands around the wire or object (like you have a cramp in your hand) and you can not let go. Inform your spouce and children to never touch someone being electrocuted, or stand in the water that the person is being electrocuted in, because they will get fried too. The best thing to do is shut off the power (throw the main breaker), but if you can not get to the main box quickly, use a big rolled up towel, a long cord, a rope, a robe, wooden chair, wooden coat rack (hall stand), anything long that is not metal that will go over, or push the person (without touching them or have you standing in the water) so that you can pull or push them away from the power source. After you have the person safely away from the power source turn off the power before you try to unplug the appliance, because you will be next, clean up the water then turn on the power back on (please be careful, "the life you save may be own"). I have included a few pictures of some amazing electrical stupidity that people have done and should not do, take heed, allow a professional to work on electrical problems, or additions.