Signs of electrical hazards and precautions

Electricity is essential for life in the modern world, but it can also pose deadly hazards. Below is some information about the potential hazards of contact with electricity, as well as precautions you can take to avoid electrocution or shock injury.
signs of electrical hazards and precautions

Dangers of electricity

Anybody who comes into contact with electricity can sustain serious burns or shock. In some cases, electrocution can even be fatal. Most electrical injuries occur when people encounter downed power lines, frayed power cords or malfunctioning electrical appliances. People may also be injured if they come into contact with water that is touching a source of electricity.

Identifying potential hazards

To keep yourself safe from electrical injuries, look for the following signs of electrical hazards:
  • Appliances located near any source of water, including bathtubs, sinks and spills. Water is a conductor of electricity and its presence raises the risk of an electrical injury.
  • Power cords and electrical wires close to any source of water.
  • Power cords and wires close to sources of heat. Heat may damage cords and wires, making injury more likely.
  • Downed electrical lines, especially after inclement weather. If you see something that looks like a downed power line, call the power company to report the incident immediately.
  • Worn electrical wires or power cords. A worn wire or cord doesn't provide proper insulation and can raise the risk of injuries or fires.
If you notice any of these potential electrical hazards, avoid contact with the area until the risk has been mitigated.

[Also read: Safety tips while using portable generators.]

Keeping children safe

Because of their age and/or lack of experience with electricity, children face a greater risk of sustaining electrical injuries than adults. To keep your children safe, teach them about the dangers of electricity. Make sure they know the basics of staying safe around electrical appliances, power cords and power lines. Children should also be taught to avoid contact with cords and electrical appliances any time they are wet or touching water.
Instruct your children to report any damaged electrical lines or cords to you immediately. If your children are very young, install protective covers over your electrical outlets and keep cords and other electrical dangers out of reach. If an incident involving electricity does occur, seek medical attention immediately.