Electricity plays a very important role in our daily lives. Though electricity is very useful to us, it can also be very dangerous in careless uses. Any type of faults in electrical appliances or circuits can cause fires and electric shocks. Due to the passage of electricity through the body there is a risk of death of people.
Uses of electricity can be dangerous due to three reasons described below.
- Damaged insulation
- Overheating of the cables
- Damped conditions
Damaged insulation: The electrical appliances work when these are connected to the voltage source by two conducting wires to complete the circuit. These two wires are called live and neutral wire. These conducting wires are usually insulated with rubber. Then they are wound together to form a cable and enclosed by PVC or rubber.
These insulating materials become worn with time and use. For example- the electrical cables of the electric iron which we use in home get bent and twisted because of the way they are used. This might cause electrical insulation to crack and break. As a result, the conducting wires inside is exposed. If by any means a person conies into contact with the exposed live wire, it may cause a severe electric shock to the user. If the live and neural wires come into mutual contact due to the damaged insulation, a short circuit will happen and may cause a fire.
Overheating of the cables: Overheating of cables occur when unusually large current flows through the electric cables or conducting wires. For example- an unusual large current flows, when an electric fan motor overheats and melts, as a result the live and neutral wire is fused together. Besides this, we make connection of too many electrical devices in a wall socket by using a multi-plug. Due to this, the conducting wire connected to the socket draws more current from the main line than the current which the conducting wire can draw safely. As a result, the cable wire is overheated, insulation is melted and causes fire.
Damped conditions: Many electrical accidents may occur in damped conditions. We know, electricity can pass through water. The parts of an electric appliance which are not insulated must be kept dry. Otherwise, there is a risk of short circuits and electric shocks. As an example, leaving a hair dryer on a wet sink is very dangerous. The person using the sink could be electrocuted if the wires were exposed or the insulation had damaged. Besides this, switching on or off of an electric switch by wet hand is risky.