Fundamentals of Electrical Safety

Although electricity source is important for us, if you handled and misunderstood it wrongly then it can be harmful or lethal that could bring damages and even death. It is important to know and to understand the fundamentals of how electricity works and the way to deal with it safely so that we can prevent ourselves from getting a serious injury and death. Here are the some of the fundamentals of getting to know about electricity better.

  • Electricity always flows through the path of least resistance such as from a concentration of higher electrical potential into an area with a lower electrical power.
  • They must be physically connected via direct contact or conductive wire for a current to flow between the two areas. Non-conductive materials such as air over a long distance will not make the electricity flow easily through. The risks of getting electric shocks become higher when providing a contact which electricity can flow between the ground and you.
  • The quality of matter that shows the degree to which electrical flow slows or stops is the electrical resistance or impedance.
  • Silver and copper, which are conductive materials, have a low electrical resistance because their atomic structures allow electrons to carry electromagnetic charges.
  • Air, which is a highly resistive matter has no free or few electrons which conduct electricity. This is the reason why most of the electrical wires are protected by a rubber outer jacket.
  • The rate of electricity flows through a circuit and by extension the amount of energy available at a given time determined by the amperage or current.
  • One amp is similar to 1 volt pushed through 1 ohm of resistance, so having a high electrical resistance is important for your safety.
  • It is crucial to engage in safety practices while dealing with electrical works. Never work with electricity which is still running on through a circuit. Disconnect the powers or turn off the breakers when possible especially when you are repairing.
  • Also be careful when dealing with disconnected devices because they contain components that hold an electrical charge or capacitors. Connect yourself to ground with an anti-static wrist strap and place the devices grounded via a wall outlet to equalize the electrical potential of yours and the device’s electrical potential.
  • Work with your right hand and keep your left hand behind your back if possible. This will lower the risk of the current that will pass through your heart. You should minimize the potential area that can come into contact with current.
  • By now, you must have learnt all about electricity, at least the important parts of electricity. This is to help you to understand electricity, its purpose and how to use it better.

Image Credit:

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Additional Reading:

Electrical Safety Handbook 3E

Ugly’s Guide to Electrical Safety and NFPA 70e (Ugly’s Electrical Safety and NFPA 70E)