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Fire Safety! Answered

I became interested in hobby electronics after seeing this instructable: Light Bar
With projects like this, the more components I buy, the cheaper each component is (ex: buying LEDs in bulk) so I will likely end up with more parts than I would want for myself. If I make a lot of these things (or similar projects) and give some to friends, how can I make sure that they are completely safe?

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NachoMahma
NachoMahma

12 years ago

. For general human safety, keep your voltage below, say, 9V. People start to feel a tingle at about 12-15V ('though some are more sensitive). Not that dangerous at 12-15V, but may cause someone to startle and hurt themselves getting away from it. I'd rule out anything over about 18V, unless you have a low current power source. . Heat (fire hazard) is a function of current, so you can limit your power source. Hard to start a fire with a AA battery. A 9V "transistor" battery can start a fire, but is fairly safe. For devices requiring more power, use current limiting (eg, fuses). For the light bars, heat shouldn't be a problem unless you have a short - a fuse should take care of that.

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NOOBLMAO
NOOBLMAO

Reply 12 years ago

How does current factor into human safety and does voltage matter when using a fuse?

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NachoMahma
NachoMahma

Reply 12 years ago

. It's the current that kills you. If you're working with small batteries, it shouldn't be a problem. . As long as the voltage rating of the fuse is equal to or above your operating voltage, it doesn't really matter. Ie, you can use a 600V fuse on a 3V circuit, but not the other way around.

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NOOBLMAO
NOOBLMAO

Reply 12 years ago

Thanks, you pointed me in the right direction. I found this site about electrical safety which says that 30 volts is a common safety threshold and 17 volts is dangerous in a worst-case scenario. I don't think I'll ever use an AC adapter above 12 volts, which shouldn't hurt anyone.
I guess all I need is a fuse then. Would anybody like a light bar? :]

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GorillazMiko
GorillazMiko

Reply 12 years ago

You just talked to my friend. Be proud. ;-)