Originally Posted by entity72
This just happened about 5 minutes ago. I had just bought a pair of 72 watt bulbs and one of them would not work. So, I looked at the contacts on the '3 bulb tree' (you know, one of those lightstands that has 3 adjustable mini lamp shades) and the one in the middle seemed to be recessed in compared to the other two.
This is where my carelessness came into play. I was confident that I switched off that middle one and decided to use the pliers in my Swiss Army knife to pry it up a bit. The instant I touched the contact with the pliers it flashed an extremely bright light and made a very loud pop. It blew off a small bit of the tip of the pliers.
Scared me half to death and immediately I felt incredibly lucky and flat out dumb.
My question is how seriously could this have injured me? What stopped me from being zapped? I didn't feel a thing. I know my hand gripped the steel in between the plastic outer casings of the Swiss Army knife...
I feel incredibly lucky and stupid. One instance of carelessness can seriously wreck you. This just happend minutes ago and immediately went to google an electronics forum. I'm still a bit shaken.
About 15 years ago, I was asked to help a neighbor start an old military generator to run his heater because an extended power outage from an ice storm. I was walking up his driveway just as he got it running on his own. i stood there as he started plugging things in. The engine started to stall so he opened the panel door to play with the carburator (the distribution panel was on a hinge that alllwed access to that side of the engine). As he dove into the engine, I saw the two big, exposed, lugs that proved power to the panel from the generator. Before i could say anything, the door hit its open limit and swung rebounded toward my neighbor's back. As soon as it hit him, his back arched and flung the door open again and he flew out.
He walked around like a zombie with a smoking back - looked like a bad movie sceene - but a lot scarier.
He was eventually ok but had two nasty burns on his back. A little investigation found a missing cover for the lugs (long before he bought it). Also, he damaged his furnace blower motor because the generator was running at 400 Hz instead of 60. He eventually scrapped the thing before it killed him.