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The Dangers of Electricity
January 10, 2023
Electricity is potentially a lethal and dangerous energy source. High Voltages combined with large amounts of Amps have the ability to stop your heart. Hiring an electrician is the safest way to avoid electrical shocks and accidents, it could even save your life.
Electricity is the flow of electric charge and energy resulting from the existence of charged particles. It has good uses in powering our homes, cars, and business, but it also has dangerous consequences if it is not handled correctly.
The electricity in our homes runs on a circuit, which is a closed path/loop of electrical wires on which the current flows. Electrical current is the rate at which electricity travels at, and the measurement of current is calculated in Amps. For reference, the standard home in Canada has 100-200 Amps and 120-240 Volts on its electrical grid. Voltage is the force or pressure of the electrical current in the circuit.
When Working With Electricity
Call a licensed electrician before starting any electrical project you may be unfamiliar with. It is never wise to do anything electrical if you are unsure of the steps and procedures.
Never wear clothing that is made from polyester. If a spark occurs any loose or polyester clothing may catch on fire.
Wear rubber boots and gloves when dealing with electricity as rubber is an insulator.
Insulators are objects that resist the flow of electrical current such as plastic, rubber, wood, air, and glass. Once created electricity will naturally seek a path to the ground. It will take the most straightforward route it can find, avoiding resistance from insulators.
Always be aware of conductors, they are objects that easily allow electricity to flow through them, such as copper, aluminum, water, and people. The human body can become a conductor for electricity as it seeks the shortest path down to the ground. Since the body is nearly 70% water, electricity has the ability to course through your body in seconds.
When Does Electricity Become Dangerous?
It takes very little current for electricity to be fatal, no more than 6 mA (milliamps) should come in contact with a person. At 10 mA the body’s muscles can begin to lock and prevent them from being able to let go of the object that is causing the shock. The longer you are in contact with electricity the more damaging it can be to your body. Also, if a line conductor comes in contact with metal, it creates very hot sparks that could burn, scar, and even blind a person.
It is not the amperage alone that makes electricity dangerous but also the voltage, which is the force, combined with the current that makes electricity dangerous. As little as 30 Volts is able to penetrate the body. But the amperage of the current is what can stop the heart. At 50 mA (1,000 mA = 1 Amp) the heart can go into cardiac arrest. A shock from a defibrillator is then necessary to help the heart rhythm return to normal.
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