Electricity Safety: How electrical currents can be potentially fatal to humans

2019-01-22T03:07:49+00:00January 22nd, 2019|

What are electrical currents? It is what runs within our homes to provide us with the life we are all accustomed to. Americans love indoor and outdoor lighting, electronics, appliances, as well as many other modern day advances. Sometime this month, most of the Christmas and holiday decorations will be taken down, packed up, and stored away.

Many parents look forward to feeling relieved to see their electric bill lower next month. Christmas lights on for over a month require plenty electricity. Not to mention the figures, trains, and indoor lights. Although electricity is required to do just about everything these days, most average adults need a refresher as to how electricity works.

Electricity is everywhere:

electrical currentsDid you know you have electricity running through your body? A person does not have to charge up or poke their finger into a socket to get the electricity flowing. This may sounds strange, but read further to understand better.

Electricity is all around us and even in us. The cells in the human body conduct electrical currents. Electricity is what makes it possible for signals to be sent to the brain. This is what makes it possible for people to walk, jump, speak, and even blink.

The human body has organs, but it also has vital elements such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. These nutrients are essential to the body’s needs. Elements mentioned above have a specific electrical charge.

Most of the cells in the body can use these charged elements called ions to generate electricity. Everything inside of each cell is protected by a barrier called a cell membrane. The cell membrane only allows certain substances to enter the cell interior.

electrical currentThe cell membrane acts as a way for the cell to create electrical currents. Cells that are resting are negatively charged on the inside and the outside environment is positively charged. This is mad possible by an imbalance of negative and positive ions outside of the cell.

Each cell can achieve a charge separation due to charged ions flowing in and out of via the cell membrane. The flow of the charges moving across the cell membrane is what generates the electrical currents. A disruption of these currents can cause issues for the body.

For example, for the heart to pump, cells need to produce electrical currents. These currents allow the heart to contract at the right time. Doctors use a machine called an electrocardiogram, or ECG. The electric currents our body’s have are vital.

If the current become irregular electrical currents, a person will have a heart attack. This is an eye opener of how important electricity is- even to the human body. Surrounding the body, humans use electricity in other ways. Electricity can provide ample convenience as well as pose threats to safety.

Electrical threats to the human body:

Working with electricity anywhere can be extremely dangerous. This is why Sanford Electric Company encourages those who are not thoroughly knowledgable and trained to hire professionals. Electricians can work on customer’s electrical installations or circuit assemblies. Both of which, are not something a person should watch Youtube video on or read a “For Dummies” book.

However, some job tasks require employees to work directly with electricity leading to electrical hazards. Electrical currents flowing through the body can create a fatal outcome. To what extent can electricity flow through the body without causing major harm?

What the body can handle:

electrical currentAn Amp is the basic unit of current. This is the current which flows through a resistance of one ohm when a voltage of one volt is applied across it. 1ma, or one milliamp, causes a tingling sensation. 5ma is referred to as the maximum harmless current a person can come in contact with and now be dangerously affected.

Now, 10ma to 20ma is the dangerous point where people refer to as the “I can’t let go” stage. This is because the electrical current causes a sustained muscular contraction. In other words, a person is not in control of their movement. Their hand or whatever is touching the current creates the affect seen in cartoons where the character is in a giant lightning bolt and is “frozen”.

The threat an electrical current depends on the level of current and the length of time the body was exposed, and the path the current travels through the body. Leave the dangers of electricity to trained professionals at Sanford Electric Company.

Make an appointment today for remodel, home improvement, site development, and just about any other electrical need! Thank you for stopping by this week. We hope you take the safe route and entrust our team. Drop by next week for more safety information and news!

Staff Writer