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Electrical Safety

Electricity is a very useful form of energy in the modern world, but it brings about lots of hazards meaning it is very important to stay safe when around it. There are many ways we can be electrocuted if we aren't careful around electricity.

Here are some of the ways:

  • Damaged or incorrectly wired plugs 

  • Inserting metal objects into plug sockets

  • Getting frayed cables or plug sockets etc, wet.

  • Making contact with frayed cables 

  • Overheating cables 

The Plug (UK)

in a plug, there are three different colour wires, a blue wire (left), a brown wire (right) and a yellow and green striped wire which goes at the top. There is also a fuse which is next to the live wire.

A mains electricity cable contains two or three inner wires. Each cable has a core of copper because copper is a good conductor of electricity. The outer layers are flexible plastic as plastic is a good electrical insulator. The inner wires are colour coded and have different functions.

  • The live wire (brown) provides the current and is held at a voltage of 230 V

  • The neutral wire (brown) completes the circuit 

  • The earth cable (yellow and green) is a safety wire that prevents appliances from becoming live.

Earthing 

If a live wire came loose in a metal encased appliance such as a toaster or kettle, If this happened you might get an electric shock if you touch it. The earth terminal is connce3cted to the casing so the current goes through the earth wire instead of causing an electric shock.

fuse breaks the circuit if too much current flows through an appliance. A fuse contains a thin metal wire that will melt and break if too much current flows through it. A fuse is measured in amps, for example, if  17A flows through a 13 A fuse then it will break.

circuit breaker is essentially a resettable fuse. These are automatically operated electrical switches that protect electrical circuits from overloading or short-circuiting. If they detect faults and then stop the flow of electricity. Small circuit breakers protect individual household appliances, whereas larger ones can protect high voltage circuits supplying electricity to cities.