Electricity: Maybe the greatest technological invention in the history of the World. It has enabled us to advance from the simple light bulb to the super conductor. Without it our lives would grind to a halt as we know them today.
Electricity is so common we almost take it for granted in our daily lives We don’t realize it is there most of the time. That is (Photo Credit Wikipedia) where the danger comes in.
Electricity is invisible, tasteless, colorless and weightless. It travels at the speed of light and has no conscious and shows no mercy to living or inanimate beings. It is one of the most powerful forces in the natural world (via lightning) and in our man-made world. It can kill a sentient being in a millisecond. There are many ways electricity can kill or maim a person. In order to understand it’s potential we must understand it’s nature.
Electricity is made very simply. We spin magnets at 60 revolutions per second in a copper coil and the resulting charge is turned into current. The current then travels through the conductors to our homes or businesses. The voltage is regulated between the power house and our homes via transformers in the power grid. When it gets to us it is flowing at 125 / 250 V.
A circuit is made when when electrons flow from the source (the generation plant) through a load (like a light) and then back to ground. Electricity from the time it is generated is constantly looking for a path to ground. The “term” ground is literal and figurative both. For your electrical system to be safe it needs to have many components.
Fire potential: This picture was taken from a local home that had an engulfed structure fire caused by an improperly installed wiring system to an air conditioning unit. A homeowner had improperly factored the wire size for the task. The wires were undersized for the actual load so as the current flowed it created tremendous heat that resulted in a full blown structure fire. Working with things that can kill you, your family, or destroy your home should not be an option exercised after watching a video on You Tube. Leave the dangerous work to the professionals.
Electricity can arc at up to 20,000 F. Those are temperatures that can melt steel or boil the skin off anything that lives. The owner of Cullen Electric’s grandfather was killed while working on lines in Hamilton, Ohio while employed by Hamilton Gas and Electric in the mid 20th Century. We have first hand knowledge of the danger electricity can pose. Heat, fire and electrocution are all real hazards when electricity is present. Respecting that power and understanding it allows us to safely perform our work so you do not have to fear that power.
Please follow the links below for specifics on each area of electrical safety and potential dangerous situations that can be present: