When you are testing electronic components, there are two things that you need to make certain are safe. First, you need to make certain that you are safe. Second, you need to make certain that the electronic components that you’re testing are also safe from damage.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, there are some very common injuries that people sustain when working with electricity. Burns are very common, for instance. In fact, according to their numbers, in the last 10 years in excess of 46,000 workers were injured due to on-the-job electrical hazards. While you might be working with electronic components as a hobbyist, you are taking the same risks that someone who works with them in the workplace takes. Those risks amount to more than 300 deaths in the workplace and 4000 injuries in the workplace every single year. Be careful.
The University of Michigan Artificial Intelligence Laboratory gives safety information that is largely common sense, but that always merits review before you start testing out electronic components.
The first thing to remember is that you should always detach the power source from any piece of equipment before you start working on it. This even applies when you are replacing fuses. You should also make certain that anything you’re working on is not in contact with anything that could provide a hazardous ground path.
Keep liquids away from anything you’re working on and don’t work on electrical components in a location where liquids are present.
One particular hazard where electronic components are concerned comes from capacitors. Capacitors can store an enormous amount of energy and they can release all of that energy at once into your body. This is why working on televisions is so inherently dangerous. If you don’t know how to discharge a capacitor or, conversely, if your entire body of knowledge about discharging capacitors comes from reading rather than being trained, do not do this. Have a qualified electrician teach you how to do it safely so that you don’t end up in the hospital or worse.