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Deadly Electricity Myths

Electrical

Many of us have believed certain things about electricity and its power throughout most of our lives.  Below, we have compiled a list of common myths and the truth about them.

Power Lines are Insulated. This is incorrect. Most power lines are not insulated and those that are may have lost their insulation due to the weather.  In any case, power lines are NEVER safe to touch.

A Fallen Wire will Shut Off.  This is also incorrect. A fallen wire will not shut off and is never safe to approach.  If you see a downed power line, assume it is live and call the fire department and the electric company immediately.  Especially keep all children away from the line.

The line is safe because it’s not high voltage. In all actuality, voltage isn’t what is harmful, amperage is.  1 amp can cause damage to your heart and likely kill you.  The average household has 100 to 200 amps running through it.  Always approach any electrical cord or wire with caution.

A live wire will make sparks when it falls.  Not necessarily and it depends on whether it makes firm contact with the ground or not. Always assume a downed power line is live and steer clear. Call the authorities immediately.

Wood is not a conductor.  This is false.  Wood is not a good conductor but it is still a conductor, and wet wood is a better conductor.

Rubber gloves and rubber shoes insulate. False unless it is pure rubber with no additives, which is unlikely.  In any case, I wouldn’t bet your life on it.

Household currents aren’t strong enough to kill.  This is not true. Remember, 100 to 200 amps run through most houses. 1 amp can kill you.  Stay safe and don’t live on false assumptions about electricity.

It’s safe to work around electricity if your ladder is made of fiberglass or wood.  This is also not necessarily true. Though wood or fiberglass is safer than metal around electricity, your best bet is to make sure the electricity is turned off before messing with a wire or better yet, call a professional.

As always, you can call Peter Needham Electrical and HVAC 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

781.396.4800

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