Electrical safety and other questions


My basement room is going quite well but I had some questions about electrical. My buddy left all the power on to the lights and outlets so we could make use of them while working on the basement.
Since they don't have covers is it a safety issues to use them during the construction phase if were careful? I just realized how easily someone could stick their fingers in the side of these open light switches. I've heard that with only 1 hand you are usually ok but what if you were also standing barefoot on the concrete? I've had jolts from electrical cords that someone decided to tape up or from using a light switch with wet hands. Is there some kind of whole house gfi? At the very least I'm thinking of switching out the first outlet for a gfi because that would cover the rest in the room on that circuit?
I am covering the light switches and going to use the gfi outlet on the panel for anything we need and shut off the rest of the power to the room. My friend is a hvac tech with experience in electrical and he should know better. The other friend I hired to frame the room would have framed directly against the foundation had it not been for my instruction to put foam in first.
Whats up with all the lack of knowledge and safety in construction work?
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Unless you have small children, the rest of you probably know not to stick your fingers in the outlets and switches. If you're concerned about non GFCI protected outlets, kill the circuits and use a known GFCI protected outlet.
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They know how to handle them. I've been on job sites with a receptacle hanging loose out of the box with only a bit of tape around it too. If you don't touch the sides, there is no danger. Nothing is going to jump out at you. It is not in compliance with OSHA regulations, but it is done every day.
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I guess I am more concerned about the light switches. Going down the basement in the dark and fumbling with the switches. Thanks for the info and I guess i will leave the rest of the outlets on for now and just cover the light switches.
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wrote:

If this trip is frequent at night, pull a Motel 6 and leave a light on. Small table lamp would be suitable.
Like a poster mentioned wrap black tape around the sides...
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OR just put the covers on and be 100% safe.
As you install drywall in a particular area, take off the cover. Often you want to use the "plaster ears" of the outlet so you may well be advised to turn off the power while you are pulling out the outlet/switch.
If you aren't using the plaster ears (IOW: they have already been removed) you can use the covers meant for "handy boxes" with rounded corners. Usually, you can fit drywall around these covers.

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Put the stupid plates on the switches if it worries you so much. They only cost a couple cents each so buy some cheapos and install them Replace them when the work is done if necessary.
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Yeah, you can just put the covers on, then remove them when you're hanging rock or whatever. It's a extra ten minutes, and it never hurts to be a little bit safer.
There are construction covers that can be had, though I don't know a source. They're slightly smaller than the box so you can rock around them, etc. Or the metal handy box covers come close.
When installing outlets some like to put a turn of tape around the screw terminals after wiring. Makes them a little safer with the covers off.
I don't know why they haven't changed the design to make outlets back wired with a plastic cover over the screws.

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run a 10 watt CFL light to give you 40 watts of illumination at each stairway and room so you are never in the dark. install pullchain temporary adapters to turn on and off the 200 watt incandescent worklight bulbs. explore a whole house arc fault detector. explore GFI breakers in your panel to serve the basement circuits.
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