In the United States, there are approximately 20,000 electricity-related accidents every year. Approximately 700 of these accidents result in death.
In addition, about 150,000 fires each year are attributed to electrical causes. Electrical accidents are the third leading cause of death in the workplace.
Electricity needs to be respected at all times. It usually enters homes at offices at 240 volts and is distributed at 120 volts at most outlets and switches.
A typical overhead distribution line has 7200 volts per wire. Voltages on major transmission lines are as high as 500,000 volts.
Here are three basic physical properties about electricity that are important to know:
1. Electricity always attempts to travel to the ground.
2. Electricity always follows any path available.
3. Electricity travels at the speed of light. That’s about 186,000 miles, or 299,800 kilometers, per second. At that speed, you aren’t given any warning; there is no time to react. This is why it is imperative to respect electricity each and every time you use it.
Remember, YOU ARE IN CONTROL. Preventing electrical accidents really boils down to HAZARD RECOGNITION.