All wired up as an interior designer, you are undoubtedly very familiar with different types of fabrics and furniture designs. You are certainly well versed in taking measurements for rooms and furnishings and developing color palates. However, unless you have had special training, you may not know how to deal safely with electrical items. However, as more homeowners incorporate smart technology into their living spaces, learning how to deal with electrical items will become increasingly necessary. You will also need to have the right equipment available, including electrical contacts, zip ties and safety plugs.
Electrical Contacts By using electrical contact you can connect two electrical items together. Depending on the electrical items involved, electrical contacts are either male or female. You should have both types of contacts on hand so that you are prepared to work on a wider variety of items. Practicing safety measures is essential when working with electrical items. Before you begin any work, with an electrical item, make certain that the item is unplugged. If you are working with an item that cannot be unplugged, ensure that the circuit through which current flows to the item is turned off until your work is finished.
Zip Ties Especially if you are designing a family room, kitchen or any room where an abundance of wires are likely to be present, zip ties are inexpensive but essential items in your designer’s arsenal. Instead of attempting to hide a mass of tangled wires underneath a table or behind a book shelf, you can use zip ties to keep the wires straight and out of the way. You should maintain a supply of both clear and colored zip ties so that you can match the zip ties with the colors of the cords.
Safety Plugs If you are decorating a home where small children or pets reside, safety plugs are another inexpensive necessity for your designer’s toolkit. Safety plugs are usually made of hard plastic and are shaped to be inserted into wall outlets. The can be either clear or color coordinated to match surrounding walls. When safety plugs are in place, curious children or pets are less likely to receive a nasty shock from sticking fingers, toes or paws into unguarded outlets. However, you should ensure that safety plugs fit securely into outlets and are not easily dislodged. Loose safety plugs represent a possible swallowing hazard for children or pets, which can result in a tragic accident or death by suffocation. Safety First While it is unlikely, you may encounter a situation that is unsafe while you are involved with a designing job.
Especially if you are dealing with electrical items, it is better to be safe than sorry. If you uncover an obviously unsafe situation such as frayed wires, point out the problem to the homeowner, and explain that you cannot work with that particular item or area until the problem is solved. If you are uncertain, it is better to err on the side of caution than to overlook a truly hazardous situation.
If the homeowner is unwilling or unable to correct an unsafe situation that you have pointed out, you may need to consider whether you want to continue with the job. Anthony Jensen is an interior designer. He enjoys sharing what he’s learned through his years of experience to help other designers create beautiful and practical spaces.