The Dangers Of Ungrounded Electrical Systems
Statistics show that millions of people receive voltage electric shocks each year, of which thousands will receive a serious enough injury to wind up in the hospital. And while there is a variety of reasons for this to occur, one of the biggest is because of failure to make sure the electrical system is properly grounded.
The dangers of an ungrounded electrical system are real. To keep potential safety and hazards away from your family, it’s important that proper grounding is in place throughout your home, inside and out.
Burns – Thousands of people receive shocks that might not be high enough to cause a fatal shock to the heart, but still provide enough punch to cause second and third-degree burns. After a shock, you may feel tingling in your hand or arm. If it doesn’t produce visible signs, and the feeling disappears in a short amount of time, there is no need to worry. If your skin is burned by electricity, there is cause for concern. Electrical burns may look minor at first, but the burn can cause damage to the tissues along the path of the electrical current. All of the damage may not be seen for up to ten days after the burn. When electricity passes through your body, it can injure blood vessels, nerves, and muscles. It can cause rapid and severe swelling in the throat and lungs. It can pass through the heart muscle and develop heartbeat problems. It can be powerful enough to cause a person to fall.
Fatal Injuries – In some cases, an electrical shock reaches a level it can cause severe damage. Depending on the amount of voltage that is passed through the body, this electrical shock can overload the heart and the brain, causing death instantaneously. But it’s important to remember that it’s not always instant. If an electrical burn travels inside your body, the damage can be extensive without it showing. It can injure many things, including blood vessels, nerves, and muscles. And if left untreated, can turn severe enough to make your internal systems shut down completely. If shocked, getting checked out by medical personnel should be your first course of action to ensure everything is okay.
Fire – According to the National Fire Protection Association, over 47,000 home fires were caused by some type of electrical failure or malfunction in 2011. Fires can start in many ways, including sparking when something is plugged in, and a high amount of voltage is sent through the system in a burst. If ungrounded, this is especially dangerous because a fire can start inside a wall where it might not be detected until minutes, even hours later. Making sure the system is properly grounded can prevent these types of fires from occurring.
Financial – If an electrical system is left ungrounded, it can cost you more in the form of electrical bills. Ungrounded systems send electrical current constantly through the system. The increase in energy can add to the amount of electricity your home takes in every day, making it sporadic at best. An ungrounded system can also be more subject to damage within your home as it sends voltage into your appliances and fixtures, and attracts energy in the wrong places. Once the damage is done, it can take time and money to replace not only the affected fixture or appliance, but also the internal wiring that may have been compromised as well.