What is it?

Electricity is energy. In the same way you eat burgers and chocolates to keep you going, machines and gadgets eat electricity to keep them going.

In your home electricity runs the lights, appliances like toasters, the television, toys and more. Its hard to imagine what your life would be like without it. Find out what a world without electricity would be like...

However, if electricity is used unsafely it can create a fire hazard or cause someone to be electrocuted.

To understand why electricity could be a danger, you need to be in the know about what it is and how it works.

How does it work?

bannerWhat's a Conductor?
A conductor is a material that electricity can flow through easily. Water is another great conductor. Surprising as it may seem, your body is mostly water, which means electricity can also travel easily through you!

In science classes you might have built circuits which contain a range of switches and devices such as buzzers and motors. The battery in the circuit supplies the electricity to make the buzzer work. The circuit must be complete for electricity to flow to the buzzer. See how a circuit works

The electricity which reaches your home also travels in a circuit and the 'battery' which supplies this energy is called a power plant. The power lines (transmission wires) which carry electricity to your home are excellent electrical conductors.

Electricity is always trying to get to the ground. Like all good travellers, electricity takes short cuts whenever it can. If something that conducts electricity, i.e. YOU, gives electricity an easy path to the ground it will take it!

Contact with electricity can cause:

Electric shock - This is when electrical current passes through the body. Even a small shock can be frightening and painful. 
Burns - Electric current can burn the skin, nerves, muscles and tissues in the body.
Death - A severe electrical shock could cause a problem with your breathing and heartbeat, possibly leading to death.

However, electricity is very safe, as long as you respect it.