Although we typically do not give them the credit that they deserve, electricians are essential to our lives as we know them. Throughout any given day, we turn lights on and off, change channels on the television and surf the internet. Thanks to the hardworking electricians in our communities, these systems are installed, maintained and repaired to make sure that we always have the electricity that we enjoy so much.
Where did this electrical system come from? One of the first people to consider using electricity in this manner was Benjamin Franklin. He visualized electricity sort of like a fluid, and showed in 1752 that lightning was actually a type of electricity. When he flew his famous kite in the storm, a spark resulted when he tied a metal key to the kite string. The first electric battery was invented in 1800 by Alessandro Volta. This "voltaic" was instrumental in allowing scientists and inventors to study electricity from a more steady source. It was not, however, a viable way to use electricity regularly. Thomas Edison is often thought of as the forefather of our modern electrical system. He experimented on hundreds of electric light bulbs until he was successful. Because of this one single invention, we could now turn night to day. After this opened the door, televisions, refrigerators, radios and the other electronics that we use quickly came onto the scene.
What is required for this to work?
Any time that you have electricity, whether from a smaller, portable generator, solar panels or a large power plant, you are connecting to a vast grid of electrical wires, cables and components. The massive electric grids that we use today take the electricity from the power plants and funnel it out so that it reaches our homes, businesses and other buildings. In order for this to function properly, a qualified electrician must always connect each structure safely and properly to the electrical utility. Were connections to be made haphazardly, the result would be a rash of electrical fires, shocks and even deaths due to the hazards that unregulated electricity presents. For this reason, licensed professional electricians are integral in installing and maintaining our complex electrical systems.
Whenever a building is being constructed, it is the electrician's job to ensure that the wiring diagrams are designed for them to properly lay out any and all wiring required for a building in a safe and code-compliant fashion. In order to standardize and safeguard our electrical installations, a variety of national and regional electrical codes have been created. In order for a building to be properly constructed, all electrical work must be up to code. This ensures not only uniformity, but the safety of the building and all those in it.
Because of the dangers presented by improperly handled electricity, DIY jobs are highly discouraged. Although you may feel like you are fairly comfortable with electrical systems, wiring and appliances, you do not have the skill and education that has been obtained by a licensed electrician. Don't forget electrical safety by putting yourself in danger.
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