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HP PCs - Electrical Shock Safety

HP takes safety very seriously, and ensures that all HP computers comply with international safety standards. Because computers are complex electrical systems, electrical shock safety is a concern. While the electrical system inside any HP computer poses no inherent risk to a person, certain environmental conditions and/or the improper use of a computer can introduce the possibility of electrical shock if caution is not observed.
The AC adapter, which is the source of electrical power for the computer, is designed to be used with a three-wire power cord. The AC adapter is, however, extensively tested to international safety standards with a 2-wire cord.
There are three types of electrical shock conditions: Electro-Static Discharge (ESD), Tingle Current, and Hazardous Shock.

Electro-Static Discharge (ESD)

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is a sudden discharge of electric current between two objects with different electrical potentials. Simply moving an object across a dissimilar material can accumulate a small electrical charge on or within the object. You can experience a discharge of static electricity in a low humidity condition by walking across a carpet and touching a door knob or light switch.
The electrostatic charge usually is so minor that it is unnoticed when it dissipates into the environment, and it is harmless to humans. HP computers are designed to withstand significant levels of instantaneous discharges; however, electronic components can incur damage from a single, very potent discharge or series of electro-static discharges. This damage to components might be immediately noticeable or accumulate over time.

Tingle current

Tingle current, also called 'touch current', results from a tiny, non-hazardous amount of residual electrical current running through the person touching the computer. While the sensation of contact with touch current can range from startling to just a slight tingle, the hazard level for people is insignificant.
In an electrical device, electricity runs from the power source, through the device, and back to the source, using the shortest path, in a closed loop. When operating a computer connected to an AC adapter, the principal electrical source is usually the power plant somewhere outside of the building. A tingle current might be noticed when a tiny fraction of the current in the system does not return to ground through the AC power line. Instead, when operating on AC power, the tingle current passes through the person touching the device or the wiring, and then through a ground to the power source. Good design practices and electrical safety hazard tests ensure that any residual current through a person is insignificant, and non-hazardous.
In the case of DC power, when operating on battery, the power source is contained inside the case, and there is no shorter path involving the customer. Thus, no tingle current exists when operating on the battery with the AC adapter disconnected.
The presence of a touch current is merely an issue of ergonomics. HP computers are specifically designed for a low instance of touch current, and tested rigorously to comply with HP internal standards. The levels of tingle current prescribed in the HP internal standards, with which HP computers must comply, are sufficiently low to ensure the vast majority of customers do not experience any associated sensations. However, a small percentage of the population might be particularly sensitive to tingle current sensations.

Hazardous shock

Hazardous shock is trauma caused to a body when an unsafe electrical current passes through it. It happens when direct contact is made with exposed electrical wires, or when a surge of electricity is suddenly introduced into an environment; such as during a lightning storm. A hazardous shock condition can be present when an electrical fault occurs in circuitry that is connected to the alternating current's main supply. Hazardous shock condition is not caused by the direct current electrical power from a notebook battery.
The hazard level for this type of electrical shock is high and potentially lethal.

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