So far electricity sounds awesome, right? It is awesome but with great power comes great responsibility and that means thinking about how we can stay safe while we are using it. Some of the safety issues surrounding electricity include:
Almost everyone is familiar with shock hazards, which can range from just annoying to painful burns to even worse! Every year, around 1,000 people die in the United States because of electric shocks. The electricity coming from a wall outlet is deadly in the wrong circumstances.
Electricity can start unintended fires when there are short circuits or overloaded wires. The property damage can be catastrophic; entire towns in California were destroyed in 2018’s Camp Fire, which was traced back to a faulty electric transmission line.
Even without starting a fire, too much current, which is known as a power surge, can damage a wide range of expensive electrical equipment. We’ve all heard of lightning strikes, which can wipe out all the electronics and appliances in a house. But simply connecting a TV to the wrong voltage can instantly destroy it as well. And even sending electricity in the wrong direction (known as reverse polarity) can burn up sensitive electronics.
Safety around electricity is one of the most important things you will learn in this series of courses.
The levels and amounts of electricity we’ll be using in the labs for this course will not hurt you, but higher levels absolutely can.
Pay very close attention to the safety precautions and the best practices in each lesson. They emphasize ways to keep you safe and your electronic components functioning. Always remember—too much electricity can be very dangerous!
Please pay attention to the sections in in Red!
A thorough understanding of basic electrical principles is your single best protection—even if you never become an electronics technician or an engineer.