Electrical Contractors - The Spark Of Life

Electrical Contractors - The Spark Of Life

The great pioneers of electricity, Faraday, Volta, Ampere, all instinctively associated electricity with the source and spark of life. Modern neurosurgeons would not disagree.

In 1891 Galvani identified the fact that an electrical charge activates the nerves and muscles even in dead animals. As every schoolboy knows, if you put a circuit across a dead frog's legs they will spasm and twitch.

Bringing The Dead Back To Life

In 1802 his nephew, Aldini, took the whole circus act even further. He sent a charge across a severed ox head and the eyes opened, the ears shook and the tongue moved!

In 1803 he extended the experiment by applying electricity to a human corpse! A hanged murderer, Thomas Fletcher, on receiving a charge, quivered, opened an eye and clenched his hands. In other macabre experiments a corpse raised itself from the table as if about to walk and another repeatedly banged its fist upon a table.

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The die had been cast and scientists continued to associate electricity with life. Such thinking caused great excitement and was a challenge to the church. By 1818 Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein: or the Modern Prometheus, took the idea to another frightening level.

The fictional Dr Frankenstein seeks to usurp the role of God and by using electricity create life. You must remember in his vision his creation will be beautiful and unlock great secrets. In her book, Mary Shelley questions this impertinence and we all know the resulting dichotomy of servant or monster.

That, of course, is the same question we have today about electricity. It is both a servant and a monster. Ever since man saw the first tree split by lightning in an electrical storm he has been in awe of this vast power. Later during the enlightenment, he began to seek to harness it. To some extent man has succeeded. There are numerous medical interventions that utilise electricity and it is undoubtedly the great power source that drives our cities.

It is also, however, a lurking monster. Today the general public take electrical power for granted. We have become blasé and unconcerned about this mighty force... that is until it ceases to work. Then it is only contemplated as an inconvenience to be solved as quickly as possible so that we can resume our busy lives.

Finding An Electrical Contractor

Those in the know see the risks in a more realistic way. Ever since Edison electrocuted an elephant in 1903 the ever present dangers have been known. (Those of a macabre turn of mind can see a short film of this on YouTube. Building Regulations have become increasingly refined and organisations like The Electrical Safety Council offer free advice on sourcing electrical contractors.

Clearly the most important feature about an electrical contractor is competence. If your fuses are blowing too frequently or you are overusing adaptors and extensions you need your circuits checked. Your problem is where can you find a trustworthy electrical contractor?

The very best first step in locating a competent electrical contractor is to contact the trade organisations. I recommend NICEIC , which has a register of competent electrical contractors who can be relied upon to deliver sound service.

Alternatively you can find your electrical contractor through The Electrical Safety Council

Once you have located a local electrical contractor you still need to make a decision that is right for you. Are you a vast commercial or industrial concern with a heavy electrical commitment? In which case you have to source an electrical contractor who specialises in commercial electrical installations and who can provide a proven track record.

On the other hand if you are a householder you might prefer the personal touch of a fairly local electrical contractor. Don't be misled however, as many companies are able to provide both types of service. The will have district departments that specialise in domestic electrical contractors and commercial electrical contractors.

Whatever you decide avoid the "bright sparks" when dealing with the spark of life. (See my article Electrical Contractors: Avoiding The Bright Sparks".)

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