The No~Shock~Zone ™

Jul 22nd, 2010 | By | Category: General

It all started with a simple shock. I tried to stop a lawnmower engine when I was 10 years old by pulling off the spark plug wire with my bare hands. Now, over  four decades later I can still remember that feeling of a big hand slamming me to the ground. That was my first lesson about the force of electricity and what it feels like to be shocked.

Since then I’ve gone onto really big electrical jobs, first designing and wiring my own musical instruments and amplifiers, then designing packaging robotics for Corning Glass, and even building control modules for nuclear missile guidance systems. You might think I would be tired of electricity by now, but for the last 10 years I’ve been the lead instructor for the HOW-To Sound Workshops, where I drive 40,000 miles a year around the country teaching hundreds of churches how to run their own sound systems. And the more I taught sound mixing classes at churches, the more electrical danger seemed to be everywhere.  That gave me the idea for electrical safety clinics which would teach everyone how to make their stages into a No~Shock~Zone where musicians could play music without fear of being electrocuted.

Then a second epiphany occured.  We started reading that RVers were being shocked by improper wiring at campsites. Now, I’m no stranger to RVing since my own family camped through 40 states and half of Canada by the time I was 16 years old. My parents finally graduated to a 26′ Hi-Lo once us kids were out of the house, and that’s when I began to see all the various combinations of 120V, 240V and 20, 30 or 50 amp campsite power receptacles, plus the boatload of adapters needed to hookup an RV. And since I’m an engineering/scientist kinda guy, I began to wonder just how many people get shocked on their RVs each year. Go to for  the full article, but it’s really quite alarming. According to the 1,200 readers who answered the survey we just ran in this past July, some 21% of all RVers have felt a shock at some time. And that’s just way too many.

This website will do it’s best to lower that number by providing articles, pictures, and videos about how to create a No~Shock~Zone on your music stage or RV campsite, all taught so that anyone can understand electrical safety fundamentals and how to avoid getting shocked. 

Hey, we want you all to be safe out there….

Mike Sokol

10 Comments to “The No~Shock~Zone ™”

  1. Rolf says:

    No-Shock-Zone #1 Great article. Finally – I may actually understand some of this “electrical” stuff after reading your articles. I can already see that I’m a very lucky person – never been shocked. Certainly not because of my “vast knowledge” of electricity – just pure luck. I will be looking for & reading upcoming articles – no one wants this kind of awakening. Thanks very much!!

  2. I just read the first part of your article and I have learned at least 3 different things that I did not know! thanks it is well wrote and thought out!

  3. Doc Watson says:

    Very interesting so far.

  4. David Beyer says:


    Where is the sign up to get future articles via email?


    • Mike Sokol says:


      Working on a direct link for that purpose which should be up on Monday. In the meantime, the newsletter will be posting all NSZ-RV articles in sequence. I’ll also be adding Musician Safety Articles as well.


  5. Bill says:

    Very readable, very understandable, recommendations at the end were to the point. Thank You.

  6. Brent says:

    The fist part is good keep it going that way

  7. Fred Heap says:

    This is one of the best articles written on electricity in RV’s. It is very important to me in that when I buy a Class B used van camper, it will be an older one. I had a friend die in a flash fire in an old trailer in Florida. Cause was electrical. When I get my RV, I will most likely rewire it, or at least have it checked out by as electrician.

    Also during a trip on my boat to the Erie Canal, we had one guy checking polarity, something I never quite understood. He found many circuits with the wrong polarity. In the future, I am going to check any time I plug in an extension cord. All I use it for is my computer, a light to read by, and a small heater.

    Keep the articles coming.

    • Mike Sokol says:


      Thanks very much. We’re also working on a nationwide tour in 2011 where we visit campgrounds and rallies with a 90-minute No~Shock~Zone clinic. I’ll keep everyone in the loop here….


  8. Patti says:

    Thank you so much! Found you on the rv newsletter. Love learning about this…hoping this will help with fixing the 12v lights that quit when I removed the hood vent assembly. Trying to access from the beginning but can’t seem to load starting w/#1. very appreciatively, Patti

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