Saturday, September 6, 2008

Prep Tip - Marking Equipment for Safety

Recalling earlier articles here about keeping it simple and having substance rule out over style - well here are some additional examples. The photos here depict the labeling of an emergency household inverter circuit (IC#5) that can easily be identified in case of power outages as being back up power. Some circuits can use colored labels but we chose to be more subtle. In the shop use yellow - it stands out well.

This practice is common in commercial buildings for a variety of reasons. Suffice it to say having someone in your home/office/shop able to locate viable outlets might have a better chance if the circuits were labeled. Regular circuits should be identified this way also to help during repairs of other household electrical problems. Simple.

Make sure you test and affirm you have everything labeled correctly. Commercial circuits and medical facilities use colored outlet covers....but we suggest you keep it simple to avoid undue attention.

Battery charger or voltage converter input/output voltages are listed in notoriously small print or molded in black lettering to black cases making reading them in an emergency a ridiculously difficult and even hazardous.

The voltage converter with a similar 5.5mm tube connector may look the same as the one for your backup electronics but when hooked up (maybe by someone else helping you) could destroy the device in an instant. Also, if the unit is something you might want on an evacuation it could make matters worse if it was meant for a critical medical device or battery charger.

During an extended stay somewhere you might find additional uses for whatever it is you labeled because you are able to easily identify compatible components. If the component is something required in an emergency then mark it with an ICE Sticker ( still available free by SASE - see website) for rapid identification.

Having eyesight issues or working in low light can also warrant the use of large easily read (or marked with a marker) labels can make a world of difference. There is no need for eyeglasses. Label devices are less expensive today and sometimes you might be able to borrow one from work or a friend.

Having someone home who is not particularly attentive to electrical or utility details and faced with an emergency and needing power will find this preplanning a blessing. Trust us we tried it.
Preplanning and redundancy. Don't forget to label the circuit breaker box properly and keep a back up list/chart in a file. No electrician is required. DIY.

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