Can I be killed by 110 volts

animated picture of man getting shocked by an outletThe one thing that I here a lot of folks telling each other in my daily travels is that you don’t have to be afraid when performing work in your house ITS ONLY 110 VOLTS! This information is not only false but down right reckless and dangerous. The truth is over 90% of the deaths that result from electrocution happen in residential homes and you guessed it, the voltage involved was none other than 110 volts. The sad thing here is that most people truly believe that it is the voltage that cause death in the case of electrocution. While voltage certainly play a part in electrocution it is not the force that would ultimately result in death to its victim. On the other hand we have current, which is the force that can cause death and severe electrical burns to its victims. It would only take 50 miliamperes of current to send the heart into ventricular fibrillation which would cause cardiac arrest  and without help would cause death within minutes. There are certain conditions that determine whether a shock from electricity is just a jolting experience that you will not soon forget, or worst a fatal electrocution. This is by no means a total and complete list of every condition that contribute to electrical shock or electrocution but certainly some to keep in mind.

  1. The path that the current take trough the body.
  2. The amount of current that go through the body.
  3. The resistance of your skin
  4. The amount of voltage (have to be enough to overcome the body’s resistance)

So as you can see not only can 110 volts do you severe harm but is the number one cause of death from electrocution in the USA. It is very important observe electrical safety when working on or around energized circuits.


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