Today's electrical test equipment is vastly superior to what electricians used when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. The analog VOMs (volt ohmmeters) have been replaced by a wide range of instruments that measure far more.

Today's industrial-grade meters also have safety features not imagined back then (see the manufacturers' literature for more info). However, some things have not changed with regard to safe use of electrical test equipment. For example:

  • Set the instrument up for the specific measurement you need to do, and then have a partner check the setup. Even the best DMM can't protect you when you try to measure current between a 2,000A bus and ground through its mA connections.
  • Attach and remove leads one at a time to prevent creating an ionization trail between the leads.
  • Don't try to economize by keeping damaged test leads.
  • If you're too tired or distracted to focus, don't attempt electrical testing.