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Preventing Electric Shock

Preventing Electric Shock

We’ve all received the occasional electric shock.  We certainly do not enjoy that unexpected jolt, but it is usually harmless.  Still, more than 30,000 non-fatal shock accidents happen every year, and a few hundred people will actually die.

But electric shock can be relatively easy to avoid.  Here are a few tips.

  1. Cover sockets and outlets…especially if you have small children or pets.  
  2. Replace old or damaged equipment.  If your electrical equipment sparks, gives out small shocks, short circuits or has frayed wires, it may need to be replaced.
  3. Check power cords to make sure there are no cracks or splits.  Store cords wisely.  Don’t twist them or they may tear.  Exposed wires in cords can shock you.
  4. Go easy on power strips and outlets by not plugging in too many appliances.  Trying to do too much can lead to overheating, a blown fuse, or even a fire.
  5. Keep electrical devices away from water.  Water is an amazing conductor of electricity.  So keep appliances away from sinks, bathtubs, etc.  If an appliance falls into water while it is on, turn off the power to the circuit before you remove it.  Let the appliance dry and ask an electrician if it is OK to use.  
  6. Use removable connection covers over joints between appliances and extension cords.  They prevent the plug and socket from separating and, if they do separate, prevent them from being exposed.
  7. Install GFCI breakers, outlets and adapters.  GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) devices cut off power when they detect imbalances in the amount of electricity flowing through an appliance.
  8. Exercise care if you are working around electricity.  Turn the power off.  Use gloves.  Remove metal jewelry.

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*Based on research conducted January - August 2016