It would be hard for most Americans to imagine a world without electricity. Most household appliances and devices hum throughout the day, driving up the costs of the valuable utility. The US Energy Information Administration points out that electricity consumption in the US was 3.0 trillion Kilowatt-hours in 2019.
Do you remember the constant warnings about messing around with electricity when you were little? While most would dread life without electricity, a larger portion of the population does not understand how a building’s electrical system works or how dangerous it is.
Today’s post intends to debunk some of the common misconceptions about electricity that continue to contribute to electricity-related hazards and accidents in homes across the nation. Here are three myths that you need to watch out for.
1. Low Voltage Shocks Are Okay
Instead of calling in an emergency electrician, some homeowners may prefer to tinker with their wiring. Lacking the requisite safety skills and protective gear, they end up experiencing shocks during their DIY project. The appliance works on low voltage; what could go wrong?
The fact is that electrical current is usually measured in Amperes and not volts. Even at low levels of 3 to 10 mA, the shock from the current can cause involuntary muscular reactions resulting in injuries, bruises, or even worse, death. If the conditions are right, a 12-V car battery can cause serious harm.
2. All Power Lines and Electrical Cords Are Insulated
As a kid, you may have wondered how birds perch on a power line without getting electrocuted. First, the cells and tissues on the birds’ feet aren’t strong enough to form a conductive path. The fact is that a majority of power lines are uninsulated, with those with insulation having degraded over time. For this reason, you should never touch or go near a fallen power line.
Similarly, not all extension cords have insulation or are waterproof. As you plan to decorate your home with bright lights with an external cord, make sure you choose one marked ‘for outdoor use.’ If you do not wish to take any chances, it would be best to leave it to emergency electrical service providers.
3. Rubber and Wood Can Protect You from Electricity
While compared to commercial buildings, factories, and power plants, the electricity flowing through your home may seem negligible. Most DIY fanatics resort to using rubber gloves, soles, and wood as part of their protective gear. Unless the glove or shoe sole is made from 100% rubber, you may not be as safe as you think.
Most rubber products have additives to make them last longer, additives that are good conductors. Instead of protecting you, the wrong rubber gloves may increase your risk of electrocution. Even with electrical gloves that you may find with a Tampa emergency electrician, the protection varies for different voltage levels.
While wood may not be high up in the rank of good conductors, it isn’t an excellent insulator either. Wood becomes an even better conductor while wet. If you have an item of value stuck on a power line, you are safer calling residential electrical services than picking up a wooden beam to remove it.
While electricity is a vital resource for all households, homeowners need to realize the dangers of messing around with the wires. Kazar’s Electric is a 24 hour emergency electrician in Tampa, FL, ready to handle any electrical issue within your home.