Electricity is important to everyone today, but it is also important to know more about electricity because we use it constantly. Learn more about electricity and its dangers, and how to prevent hurting yourself with home electricity.
What is Electricity?
Electricity is the movement of electrons in atoms to other electrons. An atom is made of a nucleus, as well as protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons are positively charged while electrons are negatively charged. Whenever an atom has this delicate balance disturbed, the flow of electrons to other atoms is what causes the electric current. The current that flows between two electrons is energy, which we have been able to convert to create light.
How Does Electricity Work?
Electricity has been compared to plumbing in your home. Water enters the house, then flows and stops, depending on if you have a water valve on or not. The same basic concept is applied to electricity. Electricity flows through your home through a variety of circuits. Electricity can flow if the switch is on, and then dissipates when a light switch is turned off. Electricity is more complicated because of the fact that different types of boxes and breakers are needed to make sure that the electricity does not become too powerful and overload.
Dangers of Electricity
Electricity is a very powerful form of energy, so certain precautions need to be taken. If you are not careful, you could accidentally shock yourself to varying degrees. These range from just a minor shock to fatal shocks. Homes need a large amount of voltage in order to power so many electrical appliances, so you will need to be careful around power sockets and not attempting to fix electrical problems on your own. Leave major electrical issues to professionals so you don't hurt yourself.
Preventing Serious Electrical Injury
Electricity is not dangerous as long as you have taken steps to be sure you are not doing anything that could overload electricity or put something where it does not belong. Some tips to keep you safe from accidental injury include several things:
- Do not have electrical appliances near water or fire
- Do not have your hand touching something metal going into an electrical socket
- Do not overload a single socket by plugging several appliances into it.
When Should I Contact an Electrician?
- Hear a sparking sound whenever you turn on a switch
- See lights are flickering for no good reason
- Smell something burning when electrical appliances are on