Have you experienced getting jolted by a spark of electricity when you touched a door knob or hand rail? Today, we will talk about static electricity, the dangers of this common occurrence, and tips on how to protect yourself from injury or property damage.
What is Static Electricity?
In a scientific perspective, static electricity happens when there’s an imbalance of charges between two objects. When two surfaces experience an electrical imbalance, only one of two reactions will occur:
- The surfaces will repel each other, when they have the same charge.
- The surfaces will attract each other, when they have opposing charges (positive and negative).
We generally witness static electricity in the following scenarios:
- The hairs on your head stand when electrons from a hat transfer to your hair.
- When you rub a balloon against a carpet of a piece of clothing, it will stick to the wall without any adhesives.
Why Is It Dangerous?
The danger of static electricity comes when the transfer of charge is so great that it creates a spark. One of the most common occurrences of static electricity dangers is refueling a vehicle. The driver may be carrying excess electrons, which may create a spark when you touch the fuel pump. Exposing the spark to volatile gasoline may create an unexpected combustion.
Another danger is static electrical shock. When an object builds up too much electrical charge with no means of release, you may get electrocuted as you touch the charged object.
Tips To Prevent Damage By Static Electricity
Here are some effective tips to make sure that risks caused by static electricity are minimized:
- Avoid wearing rubber-soled footwear: Rubber is an excellent insulator, and so wearing rubber-soled shoes may create a significant amount of static in your body.
- Apply grounding in your home appliances: Some of the devices in your house may collect static electricity over time, if there’s no way to discharge them. Make sure that your appliances have a grounding mechanism in order to release the excess static.
- Ground yourself: If you think you may be carrying some static electricity, touch an inert metal object to discharge the electricity.
- Keep indoor air humid: Dry air increases the risk of static electricity buildup in your home. The best way to address this is to keep the relative humidity above 30%. A humidifier may do the trick.
- Keep skin moisturized: If your skin is dry, it has a higher likelihood of developing static electricity. You may apply lotion or moisturizer on your hands and skin.
Static electricity may look like a small concern but disregarding the source of the problem may prove to become catastrophic. If you need help assessing the electrical safety of your home, don’t hesitate to call us at Wire Craft Electric. Our skilled professionals are on standby waiting to address your next electrical concern.