Dangers Of Electricity


Most dangerous consequences of using electricity are electric shock and electric fire. They are usually caused by damaged insulation, overheating of cables or damp conditions.

damaged electrical insulation

Damaged insulation

  • Rubber is used as insulation for the current-carrying conductors of most electrical appliances.
  • Rubber insulation is prone to damage due to regular bending and twisting. (Common appliances that bend/twist during usage: Hair dryer and Iron) The rubber insulation might break apart and expose the wire.
  • This damaged insulation would result in
    1. Electric shock $\rightarrow$ resulting in serious injury or even death to users.
    2. Short circuit in the current path by connecting exposed current-carrying conductors together $\rightarrow$ resulting in the wires heating up $\rightarrow$ fire hazard.

 

Overheating of cables

  • Especially thin wire conductors, when very large currents are made to flow through these conductors, these wire conductors will heat up and produce very high temperatures. Short-circuit or overloading of cables are conditions that lead to such large currents.
  • This overheating of cables would result in melting of the insulation and catching fire.

 

Damp Condition

  • Effective body resistance drop drastically from 100 kΩ to 100 Ω under damp condition (wet environment condition). Activities like sweating, bathing and etc lower the effective resistance of our body.
  • This damp condition, coupled with unsafe usage of electrical appliances, would result in large currents flowing through our body causing electrical shock and leading to serious injury or even death.

 


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