Intro: Staying Alive While Playing With High Voltages
Many people are interested in high voltage projects, and there are many great instructables on these types of projects, and for good reason. High voltage experimenting can create some of the most impressive and satisfying results. Whether its the authentic 60's sound coming from the vintage tube amp you built or 8 foot streamers jutting out of your new tesla coil, when one plays with high voltage, great thinks can result.
If you don't take the utmost care when playing with high voltages though, projects can quickly go wrong, and when high voltage projects go wrong they can easily result in death. There are many tips to save yourself from shocks when working with high voltage. Obviously work on circuits with the power off, and make sure that everything is correctly grounded.
Unfortunately sometimes the best of planning won't save you from your one moment of clumsiness, and if that moment occurs with your hands surrounding any high voltage source, like a large tank capacitor which hadn't been correctly discharged, it could be your last move. That is unless you follow this piece of advice.
When possible ALWAYS work with one hand in your pocket, and one hand on the device. Electricity always takes the shortest path to ground, and if its unavoidable to have that path go through your body, you might as well have it go through in a way that won't kill you. With one hand in your pocket electricity will never go through your heart or other vital organs, instead it may find ground through your arm and down your leg, saving your life.
Don't get me wrong, there will likely be damage, and it will hurt to no end, but using this method your chances of surviving electric shock grow exponentially. When you give lighting no path through vital organs you give it no chance to kill, and you can live on to mess with even higher voltages the next day (if you so desire).