Most Common Electrical Incidents and How to Avoid Them

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  • Author Jennifer Lee
  • Published December 24, 2021
  • Word count 740

From the moment we open our eyes, we yearn for one thing. One that powers our appliances, gives life to our phones, and ultimately, lights up the world. Yes, that’s what we’re constantly looking for—electricity.

With a yearly rate of 153 million people gaining electricity, global electrification has now reached 89% of the human population. This only shows how electricity has become not just a want but a necessity to live a good life.

But, just like anything that wields great power, electricity is also a double-edged sword that takes life as much as it gives. Electrical emergency stats are rising every day, especially now that electricity-demanding items and equipment surround us.

Hence, we have to be more careful in dealing with electricity. Whether you’re someone who hasn’t experienced an electrical mishap yet or a frequent victim of little electrocutions, here are the most common electrical incidents out there and a few tips on how to avoid them.

Electric shock

An electric shock results from a sudden electrical discharge upon contact with an electrical energy source. Although it’s mostly non-fatal, precautionary medical treatment, like ECG, must still be done to make sure that the shock didn’t cause much damage to the body. A neglected severe electric shock can even cause cardiac arrest.

Electrical burn

An electrical burn is sustained as current flows through the body due to contact with an electrical source like electric shocks. But, in this case, the electrical discharge has high enough energy to cause body tissues to burn.

The burn can be external or internal, which means the current can travel through the bone and burn deep tissues, especially the ones near the heart. Consequently, around 20 Australians die from electrocution every year.

Electrical fires

Unlike shocks and burns, electrical fires affect not only an individual but also properties and nearby communities. This happens when an electric current triggers flammable materials and starts a fire.

Electric fires happen more often than you think. In fact, statistics show that 40% of residential fires in NSW are caused by electrical issues, like faulty and old wirings.

How to avoid them?

Since electrical incidents are mostly caused by poor electrical safety consciousness and recognition, here are tips that’ll help you prevent electrical disasters from happening.

At home

  • Always dry your hands before handling electrical appliances. Water is a good conductor of electricity. Therefore, it’ll be easier for the electricity to pass through your body if your hands are wet.

  • Do not overload outlets. If you plug in too many devices or appliances in a single outlet, chances are it’ll be overwhelmed, cause your circuit breaker to trip, and cut the current flow. Without a breaker, the wiring will overheat and start a fire.

  • Keep flammable materials away from electrical sources

  • Cut the power supply once electrical issues arise. If you ever detect an electrical issue at home, immediately cut the power at the breaker box to prevent further damages and ensure your family’s safety.

  • Consult with a qualified electrician. The best way to deal with electrical issues will always be to contact the experts. It’s much easier nowadays since emergency electricians can help you 24/7.

At work

  • Install physical barriers around electrical hazards. It’s difficult to avoid an electrical incident if the employees are unaware of the electrical hazard. Hence, signs should be placed. Apart from this, electrical panels must be kept closed and well-maintained.

  • Ensure proper usage of electrical equipment. Safe and proper handling of electrical equipment prolongs your equipment’s life and keeps you and your co-workers safe.

  • Do not go near live electrical wires. Did you know that electrocution is the second leading cause of death in the construction industry? Workers are often exposed to live wires, and some take it upon themselves to resolve electrical issues. If you’re not qualified to handle electrical hazards, leave it to the experts.

  • Follow company electrical safety practices. Ultimately, to avoid encountering electrical accidents, always follow company electrical safety practices. These practices vary based on your industry’s work nature.

Final Thoughts

Some of these preventive measures may need you to go out of your way or spend a few dollars. Inconvenient, right? But, in all honesty, this is just a small price to pay for a lifetime of electrical safety, not just for you but also for your loved ones.

Jennifer Lee is a content manager at Gordon Powers Electricians in Sydney. The local electrical company specialises in providing professional level 2 electrician Sydney services. They also can help with resolving electrical defect notices, power pole installations and repairing consumer mains.

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