There are a lot of myths about electricity out there, and while some of them are pretty harmless, many myths out there are dangerous because they spread incorrect knowledge about electricity. Many of these myths could result in someone being injured or even worse, killed.
Despite the fact that most of us interact with electricity on a daily basis, it is still very poorly understood by a lot of people. This is very problematic because if you misunderstand electricity, you could potentially end up getting hurt.
So, we are going to debunk some of these common myths about electricity.
This is one of the more dangerous myths about electricity out there because it is based partially in fact. It is true that rubber does protect you against electricity. This is because rubber is one of the best insulators out there. But, this is only true if the rubber in question is 100% pure rubber. Many household rubber products, like rubber gloves, are not made of pure rubber. Instead, the manufacturer will often dilute the rubber with other products to make the gloves last longer, to make them more stretchy, and to make them more comfortable to wear.
The problem is that many of the products that the manufacturers use to dilute rubber gloves are conductors of electricity. So, just because you are wearing rubber gloves does not mean that you can start rooting around in your wiring or attempt to fix electrical issues that you would normally leave to an electrician. The rubber gloves simply do not provide enough protection.
But, what about shoes? The soles are made of rubber, so surely they must provide some protection against electricity. The answer to that question is “sort of.” See, it is true that the rubber soles in shoes do provide a slight bit of protection against electricity, this is due to the fact that the rubber used in shoe soles tends to be a bit purer than the rubber used in typical, store bought rubber gloves. But, most soles that you find in shoes are far too thin to provide real protection. So, while wearing rubber-soled shoes will provide a bit of protection from electrocution, it is not enough protection to really be safe.
A lot of people are under the impression that wood acts as good insulation. But, this is completely wrong and it is very dangerous to think so. Wood is not an insulator at all. In fact, it is actually a decent conductor. Now, wood may not be the best conductor of electricity out there, but electricity, especially high-voltage electricity, will still be able to move through wood and electrocute you. If for some reason, the wood is damp, then it becomes an even better conductor.
This is important to know because a lot of people use to wood around electricity. For example, parents often use wooden sticks or brooms to get things off power lines that got stuck up there (kites are a good example of this). Another, more morbid example would be in cases where someone is being electrocuted. See, when someone is being electrocuted they often get stuck to whatever is electrocuting them because their muscles contract and they cannot move, often you will see people advise you to use wooden sticks to push the person away from whatever is electrocuting them. This is dangerous because the wood does not provide any protection from the electricity.
If you have ever seen a power line in real life or on television, then you may have seen a lot of sparks when it fell. Now, you may be under the impression that every power line sparks when it falls, but this is not the case. When a power line falls, it will only spark if it does not firmly touch the ground or another object. So, if a power line falls, but barely touches the ground, you will see plenty of sparks. But, if firmly touches the ground, there will not be any sparks.
Just because you do not see sparks coming from a power line does not mean that that power line is not active. Always stay far away from any fallen power lines. You never how dangerous a power line is, so you need to make sure that you inform the professionals promptly and let them handle it.
You have probably heard that the reason a car is the safest place in a lightning storm is due to the fact that the rubber tires provide protection against electrocution. This one of the most common myths out there and almost everyone has heard of it. Even many experts parrot this myth. The truth is that rubber tires do not protect you against electrocution. Rubber tires are not insulators, in fact, they are actually conductors of electricity. What really protects you from electrocution is the metal part of the car.
The metal in your car helps route the electricity into the ground and away from the passengers. This is important to know because people in cars without roofs or people in things like motorcycles might assume that they are safe because of their rubber tires. But, because there is no roof to reroute the electricity, the people driving those cars or driving motorcycles are not safe.
Remember, whenever you face an electrical problem you should always consult with a qualified electrician. The risk of injury or death when dealing with electricity is always present and you should always be very careful around electricity. If you are dealing with an electrical emergency, do not hesitate to give us a call, we will get an emergency electrician down to solve your issue very quickly. Hundreds of Australians are hospitalized each year due to being electrocuted in their own homes, do not be one of them.