Who's rewired their house for this hobby?

Brent Hilpert hilpert at cs.ubc.ca
Mon Nov 24 21:54:29 CST 2014

On 2014-Nov-24, at 6:55 PM, Peter Corlett wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 24, 2014 at 04:11:45PM -0500, William Donzelli wrote:
>> Refs:
>> http://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/news-and-campaigns/policies-and-research/statistics/
>> http://www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics/fire-causes/electrical

> For the UK, the page contradicts itself in claiming eight deaths due to
> "Installations" but ten due to "Electricity supply - Wiring, cabling, plugs".
> That is some four or five times less lethal per capita than the USA.

I earlier tried looking up some empirical stats but (as expected) concluded that wasn't likely to be helpful, there are too many variables, including social and legal issues, to easily conclude a relation to voltage. For example, in my jurisdiction one is still allowed to wire one's own house, regardless of ability, which could skew accident stats negatively compared to a jurisdiction where only 'professionals' are allowed to touch any part of the installed electrical (I don't know what the rules are in the EU).

> Fires and electrocutions are caused by *current*, and the voltage is very much
> a red herring.  America should be treating its 110V supplies with the same
> respect the rest of the world gives to 220V, and not just half-jobbing it due
> to myths about the lower voltage being inherently safer.

Fires are caused by power not current; but you're right, there's plenty of power at the end of both
a typical 120V circuit and 240V circuit to start a fire. As such, electrical fire risk is treated seriously on both sides of the pond.

But  I would quite suggest that the electrocution/shock-injury risk relation - based on the known physics & biology - between 12V, 120V, 240V, and 600V is an increasing and non-linear one. Trying to deny or toss off the difference in the 120-240V region as inconsequential just looks like an attempt at rationalisation.

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