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Bangkok Floods 2011: electrified water and how to test for it

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If you’re in a flood area where the electricity hasn’t been cut yet, there is a risk that current is flowing in the flood waters. ThaiPBS interviewed a professor earlier today to ask how to deal with this risk.

Testing if there is electricity flowing through the water

If you’ve reached a flooded area and want to test whether there is electricity flowing in the water, you can lightly touch the water using the back of your hand. Do NOT use the front, as that will electrocute you.

In the event you feel a tingly sensation, it means there is a current still flowing. Identify the source of the current and turn it off before retesting and entering the water.

A reader kindly pointed out the reason why we should use the back of the hand only: “If you use the back of the hand, the electric shock will kick your hand back off the water. If you use the front of the hand the electricity will make your muscles close & your hand will submerge into the water.”

via Karn G. Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead

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