General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Are there more accidental electrocutions in the US (where voltage is 120v) or in the rest of the world (where, in most countries, the voltage is 240v)?

Asked by elbanditoroso (33188points) 4 weeks ago

Asked differently, is 240v inherently more dangerous than 120v?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

4 Answers

Blackwater_Park's avatar

240V is more dangerous. But, more people in the US are killed by fires started by electrical faults than in other countries. In the US, there is no integrated fuse in our outlets/cords like in the UK and we use cheap, unprotected extension cords like it’s nobody’s business. Most houses rely only on breakers all the way back in the mains breaker panel. Only recently have GFCI and AFCI devices become common.

smudges's avatar

Actually, GFCIs have been required by the National Electrical Code (NEC) since 1971 – 53 years. But yeah, our extension cords suck!

Blackwater_Park's avatar

@smudges Only on specific circuits, it used to be just pools, then they added any outside outlets, then kitchens and bathrooms by the late 80s. Laundry rooms were not even required until 2017. Lighting, living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and essentially almost everything else were not covered with some secondary protection until arc flash protection became code for most rooms in the mid-2000s. Any previous construction is exempt unless something needs replacing. That means most houses still have a large amount of breaker-only protection. My house was built in 1969–70. It only had breakers until I updated it. My parent’s house was built in 1981 and only had GFCI on the outside outlet. My previous house was built in the 90s and only had GFCI on the kitchen and bathroom outlets. Also, when people DIY here it’s like the wild west. It’s too easy to just go to Lowe’s, get the stuff and install it here under the radar. A lot of shoddy work out there.

smudges's avatar

^^ That explains why some of my apartments only had them in the kitchen and bath.

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