Don’t get caught in the dark – label your electrical panel

Can you read the labels on your electrical panel? It’s important to understand which circuit breakers control which areas of your home. This information is useful when doing electrical work and you need to isolate an area of your home to shut off the power, but also in an emergency when the power goes out.

Take time now to clearly label what is on each circuit in your home. Be as specific as possible when labeling circuits – for example: master bedroom outlets, kitchen outlets, kitchen lights, living room east wall. It’s also helpful to identify the main power switch to the house. It may be necessary to turn off all power quickly in the case of a storm or flooding emergency.

Electricity is a powerful tool. It can also be deadly. Always turn OFF the power at the panel if you are doing any job that might result in contact with an electrical outlet. Take an extra minute for safety and turn OFF the power before painting around electrical outlets or doing a minor renovation.

Test circuits and outlets to make sure the power is OFF to them before work is started. Don’t take unnecessary risks! Plan the job. Identify potential hazards. Use the correct tools for the job.

Always remember that electrical work should be performed only by a licensed electrician.

Prepared by Linda Carter, PHEc

Manitoba Hydro