How Do Electrical Outlets Work?
Let’s start by explaining how electricity goes inside your home. In Australia, homes get an electrical current through the national power grid through wires or cables to a service head. This service head generally has two 230V wires and a neutral wire. Then, there’s an electricity metre that measures your electricity use. Electricity then heads into the electric service panel where the circuit breakers are housed. The panel is the hub from where the electricity flows to all of your electrical outlets and light switches.
Types of Electrical Outlets
There are quite a few different types of electrical outlets, also known as receptacles. Some have double power points, and many of them even have a third U-shaped grounding hole that’s attached to the ground wire. The outlets are what fit the plugs. Some plugs feature two flat parallel prongs, whereas others feature three prongs. You also have to consider the type of prong or pins, as not every type fits every outlet. For instance, Type A and B plugs can only be used in the United States, whereas Type C plugs are used in Australian outlets.
15 amp outlets, are used for more powerful devices and are often found in garages, kitchens and laundry rooms. These are recognisable by their longer neutral slot that features a horizontal notch at the opening.
How to Ensure Safety Around Electrical Outlets
Electricity is amazing, but it can also be dangerous. Electric fires and shocks are two hazards that pose a threat to your life and the life of those around it. However, most people are fortunate enough to live alongside it without any serious risk, as long as they follow the safety measures, of course. In Australia, there are about 20 deaths every year from electrocution, and more than half of them happen at home. Believe it or not, most of these tragedies are preventable.
The severity of the injuries sustained from electricity depends on the amount of electricity that will go through the person. Light currents can be felt as a light tingle. However, as the flow of electricity increases, so does the intensity of the pain. Loss of muscle control and shocks, as well as respiratory failure and muscle contractions, aren’t uncommon. And if you can’t let go of the shock source, death is also possible. Large amounts of electricity result in burning, cardiac arrest, nerve damage, or death.
There are tens of thousands of electrical home fires in Australia each year, and some of them result in deaths and injuries. Property damage is also significant. The leading cause is arcing, which is why it’s important to use quality electrical supplies and materials, as well as the services of electrical professionals.