Appliance Meter Safety

Electrical Safety

The audit involves the plugging and unplugging of many electronic devices. As such, a basic understanding of electrical safety is necessary to prevent accidents.

The body as a conductor:

  • Electricity seeks the path of least resistance to ground, where it can discharge and dissipate itself. If you touch the wrong parts of a plug (the metal teeth), or the wrong parts of a circuit panel, battery, solar panel, etc. your body will be the path of least resistance and the electricity may travel through you!
  • Never touch the rectangular pins of a plug and never put anything into the holes of an electrical socket except a plug that fits. The rectangular pins are two ends of a circuit, and if connected (i.e. by your body) can discharge electricity through your body. The round pin is the ground and is included for the safe operation of most circuits, extension cords, devices, and plugs. See the image below:

Credit: Wikipedia

When using the appliance meter, always make sure it is plugged in fully so that there is a reduced chance that anything can come in contact with the plug protruding from its back. It should never be plugged into an extension cord lacking a grounding plug.

All contact with potential sources of electricity should be avoided and shown due respect. Small voltage/current combinations can be dangerous or fatal if not approached correctly. Below is a table of the current rating (in a 120 volt circuit at 60 hertz) and its affects on the body.

Effect Intensity (mA milli Amps)
Death 1000
Heart fluttering 50+
Interference with breathing 30-40
Muscle freezing 15-20
Unvoluntary reaction 2+
threshold to feel it 1
Last modified: Tuesday, 12 January 2016, 11:52 AM