Electrical Tape Safety Checklist

Today’s electrical industry is much more advanced than it was a century ago. All certified technicians should know the basic how-to’s of operating the gadgets in their tool box. Regarding the more sensitive workings of a building or warehouse, you may find yourself on the job needing a quick fix for a leaky pipe or notice a cord fraying a bit. In these instances, electrical tape is an electrician’s best friend. Below is a safety checklist to keep you and your employees safe as you mend minor electrical issues.

Things to Know Before Investing in Electrical Tape

Electrical tapes made of vinyl are the most effective and popular of all tapes and offer a great “stretch factor”. They’re able to maintain their adhesion through extreme wear, which is another reason behind the favoritism.

Electrical tapes are made with a PVC backing and rubber-based adhesive. They offer exceptional heat resistance – enduring temperatures upwards of 200° F.

Electrical tape comes in all sorts of colors, but this is not an intention to allow contractors to pick their favorite shade and hit the check-out line. These tapes are used for electrical phasing tasks. Each color represents a specific application and voltage level that characterize the wire that it is being used to phase. It would be advisable to learn what each color represents and have a color coding guide available for reference on the job. Being careless with the colors that you choose for phasing tasks causes major safety concerns – as it puts other technicians at risk of electric shock if they aren’t properly prepared for the high-voltage cables they will be working with.

A Popular Question About Electrical Tape is: Can I use wire nuts instead of electrical tape?
Wire nuts are meant to be used with low-voltage systems like light switches or junction boxes and are used as an electrical connector rather than a means of insulation. This is much different than electrical tape and should not be used as a substitute in any case.

Don’t Attempt to Double-Down on Insulation

Electrical tape is made to be an insulating material itself but covering the tape with another layer of insulation is generally not a safe idea. If you’re considering using electrical tape to cover water pipes, please use caution. When adding insulation on top of the tape it becomes much hotter, especially during the winter. Pressing a flammable insulation against electrical tape can put you at a potential for hazard, so make sure to choose between one or the other.

Don’t use Electrical Tape to Seal up Loose Wire Ends

Although it may be tempting to keep wrapping new tape around any exposed wires, don’t let the damage get too out of hand. This means anything past a minor abrasion or cut. Replace any cords that have become majorly impaired to avoid live wires that can cause shocks when they are touched.

Use the Proper Technique to Wrap Your Tape

Since electrical tape will usually be used around more circular objects like pipes and wires, there needs to be a little bit of technique applied to wrapping the tape. The stretch of the tape allows you to pull on it while wrapping, allowing it to maintain a secure and reliable hold. This prevents tape failure and maintenance callbacks in the future.

Electrical tape is – as anyone who owns a toolbox knows – a critical tool for a variety of uses on the job. It’s heat resistance and insulating qualities provide advantages that technicians wouldn’t get from many other types of tape. Electrical tape can be used on cables and components that are part of a bigger electric framework, so it’s extremely important to be cautious and knowledgeable of best practices before using.

Presentation Skills: 5 Tips for Keeping Your Voice Healthy

Your voice is a key part of your presentation delivery. And having a tired, hoarse voice can negatively impact your presentation.

I’ve conducted many training programs where I’ve had to present for five or six hours a day for five days in a row. And I’ve also sung in choirs and as a soloist. So I understand how important it is to take care of my voice so I can rely on it being ready when I need it.

Here are my five tips for keeping your voice healthy:

  1. Hydrate
    Drink plenty of water, and not just during your presentation, but also before your presentation so you can stay hydrated. Room temperature or warm water works best for me. I also drink warm tea without caffeine. I find that cold water, particularly ice water, actually constricts my vocal cords, and makes me feel hoarse, making it much harder for me to project my voice. Gargling with warm water and salt also helps (and the salt is natural disinfectant). Find something that works to keep your voice well lubricated.
  2. Control the room environment
    Sometimes you’re in a room that is too hot, too cold or dry and that can quickly give you a sore throat. Check out the room before you present and decide if you need to open a window, lower the heat or increase the air conditioning.
  3. Rest
    Rest is crucial. You need adequate sleep the night before a presentation so your voice sounds rested (and you are alert and focused). And you should rest your voice, so no screaming at a sporting event the night before. You can’t fake rest – if your voice is tired, people will hear it. If you’re going to do several presentations over a few days or conduct multi-day training programs, you have to accept the fact that you will tire your voice and will need extra rest. It’s like working out – if you do bicep curls with weights, you expect that your muscles will be sore the next day. As you gradually build up strength, you’ll be able to lift more weights without feeling as sore. The same is true with your voice.
  4. Breathe
    Breathing properly keeps your voice supported. Take full deep breaths from your diaphragm and core that will support your voice to the end of the sentence, rather than taking shallow breaths from the top of your chest that cause you to run out of air. If you do yoga or Pilates, or you swim or sing, use that same kind of breathing.
  5. Warm up your voice
    In preparation for your presentation, do some vocal warm-ups, much the same way as you would do flexibility stretches with your body. Vocalize from high to low – just open your mouth wide and say “ah,” making a continuous sound with a pitch that goes from high to low. Pronounce consonants and vowels and really move your lips. Repeat the “t” sound and the “k” sound, for example.

Screw up your face and then relax it. You may feel silly doing these exercises but they will help you loosen up and open up your voice.

If you follow these five tips and take care of your voice before, during and after your presentation, you can keep your voice sounding energized, full, supported and healthy.

Future News for Present Decisions

News in the traditional sense does not usually affect the day-to-day decisions of people. The weather forecast may lead you to bring a coat or umbrella to work, but it would rarely cause you to feel that you need to switch careers or make life-changing decisions. However, in the world of stocks, futures, and Forex trading, there is a type of news that can alter the fate (and profit) of trillions of dollars. If you are into investing, future news is something you should monitor consistently.

If you practice a passive approach to current events, weather forecasts, and showbiz news, it’s a totally different thing if you are involved in investments and get regularly updated with future news. If you do not wish to lose money by making poor investment decisions, you have to subscribe to a service that can deliver fresh future news and other updates that can help determine if you’re putting your money on the right investment tracks. Getting future news subscriptions has its advantages. You get to:

1. Familiarize yourself with patterns in Forex, futures, and stocks that may prove useful in making investment decisions
2. Be alerted for unfavorable trend patterns that can help you avoid investing at the wrong places
3. Establish a personal record of the “goings on” in the market that you can use for reference, and;
4. Gain information from trusted knowledge sources that are unlikely to report errors and, in turn, cause you to make ill-advised decisions.

There are many ways of getting future news on a regular basis. Executives and professional traders subscribe to trusted services that can deliver updates on a regular basis. Others prefer to hire a professional who will personally collect data and report what he/she has learned at the end of a trading day. Others rely on buying spreads of newspaper to check out the figures and learn a few finance-related headlines that might concern them.

Whatever your method of getting future news is, always remember that individuals who do not want to lose in investment deals should gather accurate information that he/she can use to make wise investment decisions. If you are not a professional and need help in interpreting stocks, futures and Forex trading facts, perhaps subscribing to an informational future news service is what is best for you. Thousands of people gain a considerable part of their income from stocks, futures, and Forex trading, so don’t let yourself be at the losing end because you don’t know enough about what you are trying to invest in.