According to the ESFI, there are more than 30,000 non-fatal shock incidents a year. However, don’t let the term “non-fatal” persuade you into thinking electrical shock is just a general nuisance. The injuries associated with electrical shock can range from minor burns to severe internal damage and may even lead to death (referred to as electrocution). Electricity is a dangerous and at times unpredictable element, but by learning about prevention and aid, you’ll be able to keep your family safe from electrical shock.
The experts at Salt Light & Electric value practicing electrical safety with Central Texas homeowners, and have assembled a guide below regarding prevention and aid for electrical shock.
Electrical Shock Prevention:
Electrical shock prevention should be an important safety measure for any homeowner, especially those with children. Utilizing these prevention methods, you can provide a greater level of electrical safety for your home.
Check Appliances Before Use – Examine each appliance for frayed wire, cracked casing, or loose connections before use. When an electrical current is exposed via damaged wire, plugging it in can result in shock. Additionally, if you notice a plugged-in appliance is overheating, safely unplug it immediately to avoid a potential short circuit.
Maintain Your GFCIs – Your GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) are designed to reduce the severity of electrical shock by shutting off power when an electrical current is unstable. A GFCI outlet is easily identified by its “test” and “reset” buttons located between the two plugs and are required by the NEC to be in bathrooms and kitchens. Notify the location of each GFCI in your home and be sure to test them once a month. To test a GFCI, press the “reset” button and plug in a small electronic. Then, press the “test” button and if the electronic turns off, your GFCI is working properly. Press the “reset” button to return the GFCI to normal.
Cover Your Outlets – Plastic plugs and covers are available at any department store and protect your children from interfering with the electrical current of an outlet. Use them for every outlet in your home low to the floor (although you can cover as many outlets as you’d like).
Avoid Overusing Extension Cords – Never use more than one extension cord per outlet as this can cause an electrical overload. Additionally, examine your extension cords AWG rating to determine what voltage it can handle.
Keep Water at a Safe Distance – Never leave appliances on bathroom or kitchen floors, as water easily seeps into the circuitry. Always dry your hands before using any appliance and remove any nearby water sources from cords and outlets. If water has contacted a plugged-in appliance, use the circuit breaker to shut off the power and safely unplug the appliance if possible.
Schedule an Annual Electrical Inspection – Electrical inspections will help identify any issues present and can help further prevent electrical shock. Contact Salt Light & Electric for your next electrical inspection to greatly increase the electrical safety in your home.
Electrical Shock Aid:
Although methods of prevention should be practiced as much as possible, you must be ready to act if electrical shock occurs.
Shut off the Power Source – If a person is experiencing shock by a faulty appliance or outlet, immediately shut off the power to the outlet using the circuit breaker. Do not attempt to remove the power via the outlet itself.
Contact the Appropriate Authorities – If the cause of shock is a faulty power line or other outside factors, contact 911 and your electrical company for emergency services and to shut off the power.
Distance the Person Using a Non-Conductive Object – If the power is shut off, use a piece of wood or cardboard to safely pull the person away from the object. Do not attempt to touch the person, as the electrical current may still be residing.
Seek Medical Care – Immediately take the person to the nearest medical facility. Doing so will notify any persisting issues and potentially safe their life.
Cumulative knowledge of electrical shock is key to maintaining electrical safety in your home. If you are ready to schedule your next electrical inspection, contact Salt Light & Electric today. Central Texas homeowners should be fully aware of their electrical system, and our electrical inspection services guarantee your family’s electrical safety is maintained. Give us a call at (512) 956-7842 to schedule your safety inspection and meet your trusted electrical experts.