Electric Shock Overview
An electric shock is a dangerous and sometimes painful energy flow that travels through the body. What’s really unsafe is the current type, how high the voltage may be, and how the current travels through the body. Exposure to electric energy can feel like a sharp jolt or vibration, which can lead to internal damage, cardiac arrest, or even death. Approximately 1,000 people die in the United States each year because of electrocution according to the National Institute of Health.
Considering that electricity is everywhere, it is important to handle electrical devices, outlets, wires, switches, and circuits with caution, in order to avoid electric shock.
Preventing Electric Shocks in your Home
Electricity is the driving force behind most appliances in our homes. Educate yourself and your family and take proper precautions when operating electrical devices at home. Consumers can take additional safety measures by looking out for any areas in their home or place of business that have a high risk of electrocution.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) – According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a “ground fault circuit occurs when there is a break in the low-resistance grounding path from a tool or electrical system,” which may cause alternative paths for electrical currents, causing dangerous injuries. A ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) can be found on outlets, circuit breakers, extension cords, and other electrical equipment. It is designed to shut off electric power when it senses an imbalance between the outgoing and incoming current, disrupting the flow of the current from the outlet.
Outlet Plug Covers – Installing plug covers is an essential step for many parents with young children. Some updated GFCI outlets have already a feature that blocks the open plugs when they are not in use. The outlet will function when a plug is inserted into all the openings at the same time. Covering exposed outlets will ensure that children do not tamper with the outlets, and potentially causing harm to themselves.
Extension Cords – Purchasing cords that have the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) labels on them, will maximize the safety in your home or place of business. These cords have been tested to ensure they meet safety requirements. Inspect that the cords don’t have any cracks, splits, or any exposed wires.
Outlet Overloading – Avoid having too many devices plugged in and running from the same outlet. This can cause the socket to overheat or damage to the breaker. Spread the devices around your home so that your receptacle only holds the maximum of two plugs.
Avoid Water – To avoid electric shock, do not leave electrical devices, appliances, or extension cords near water or moisture. If you believe the device or the wiring has been wet, turn off the power to the outlet by turning off the breaker in the electrical panel.
Electric Panel – Have an electrician inspect your electrical panel regularly to check if it remains safe to use. Panels should be isolated from any power sources and are usually found away from the main traffic flow in the house.
Electric Shock Symptoms
A person who has been shocked or electrocuted may have little to no physical damages or effects. If you are experiencing the following symptoms following exposure to an electric current, seek emergency care if you have:
- Severe burns
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness
- Heart rhythm irregularities
- Muscle pain and contractions
- Any other abnormal symptoms
The best medicine to treat shock or electrocution is education and safety. Understand the basic safety principles through the internet or by contacting your trusted electrician for additional tips. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), electrical-safety has many resourceful information for electrical, fire, and home safety for the consumer, homeowner, and business owner. By staying educated on the subject, you can avoid electric shock, decreasing the chances of dangerous injuries and even death.
Contact an Experienced Electric Shock Injury Lawyer
An injury or loss of a loved one as a result of electricity exposure, can leave you with unexpected monetary, physical, and emotional damages. The attorneys at Sweet Law Group have seen thousands of potential cases and know what it takes to win. Our lawyers know how to handle your legal situation, and are there to fight for you, day and night. Call to speak with one of our personal injury attorneys today for a free, no-obligation consultation at (800) 203-3061.