How Shock Happens
travels easily through the human body.
Your body is 70 percent water, and water is an excellent conductor of
electricity. So, when you touch an energized bare electrical wire or a faulty
appliance, the electricity will use your body as the shortest path to the
ground. If you are grounded, the electricity will instantly pass through you
to the ground, causing a harmful—and sometimes fatal—shock.
It doesn't take much.
You can be killed by the tiny amount of electricity used by one 7.5-watt
holiday light if it passes through your chest. If the shock doesn't kill you,
it can still badly hurt you by causing serious falls, burns, cuts, or internal
bleeding. A shock from a 100-watt bulb or a 1000-watt hair dryer will probably
You can avoid harmful or fatal shock by understanding how electricity travels
and how to stay out of its way.
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