Electrical Hazards

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Operating an electrical switch is like turning on a water faucet. Behind the faucet (or switch) there is a source of water (or electricity), a way to transport it, and pressure to make it flow. The faucet's water source is a reservoir or pumping station. A pump provides enough pressure for the water to travel through the pipes.

The switch's electrical source is a power generating station – a dam, or a coal or natural gas power plant. A generator provides the pressure for the electrical current to travel or flow through electrical conductors or wires.

Three factors determine the resistance of a substance to the flow of electricity:

• What it is made of.
• Its size.
• Its temperature.

Substances with very little resistance to the flow of electrical current are called conductors. Examples are metals.

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