Electricity is dangerous and invisible.
Electric shocks occur when a person comes into contact with a live electrical current which passes through the body. Electrical shock effects can vary from mild discomfort or tingling sensations, through to burns, unconsciousness, severe internal injuries including heart damage, and death from electrocution.
The potential for electric shocks can be due to several reasons. Common causes of electrical shocks include:
Taking simple precautionary steps can aid in preventing electrical shocks, at both home and work.
It is recommended that you do not use electrical appliances, such as hair dryers or mobile phone chargers, in areas of the home where water may be present. Due to tap water being a highly conductive substance, the risk of electrical shock is increased. Should an electric appliance become submerged, it has the potential to turn the body of water into an electrical hazard.
When an appliance is plugged into a circuit and running, it is said to be under load. This involves the device drawing power and electricity flowing from the circuit, into the appliance and returning through the wiring of the circuit. Should you try and unplug the appliance while it is switched on, the electrical flow has potential to create an arc, which can be highly dangerous and expose you to an electric shock.
Compulsory safety switches called Residual Current Devices (RCDs) are required in all homes in Western Australia. RCDs offer protection against some – but not all – electrical hazards. When operating correctly, an RCD should instantly cut the electricity supply when an earth fault is detected in certain parts of the circuit, such as where appliances are in operation. It should be noted however that RCDs will not protect against electrical problems in other parts of the circuit, such as faults upstream of the RCD and issues with incoming neutral connection.
Gorey Electrical is licensed and qualified for the installation, inspection & servicing of RCD Units.
When working on a circuit or device, it is imperative to turn off the power prior to commencing the labour. The appropriate circuit breaker should be switched off in the meter box and if working on a corded appliance, power can be cut by unplugging the device.
You should be cautious when purchasing electrical goods, particularly from overseas as they may not comply with Australian safety standards. A Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM) should be displayed on the appliance if it conforms to Australian standards, indicating that you are purchasing from a responsible supplier.
Some electrical shock incidents occur without notice, but immediate action should be taken if you become aware of problems with connections or equipment. Acting on these signs can mitigate the severity of potential shocks or stop them before they occur altogether. Some indicators to be aware of include:
If you or someone around you experiences an electrical shock, the following protocol should be followed:
Someone who has experienced an electric shock may seem unharmed, but they should still seek medical attention. Potential complications or injuries may not be initially obvious, but common symptoms include:
Regardless of severity, a medical examination is crucial after experiencing any electrical shock.
If someone around you experiences an electrical shock, the following outlines a recommended first aid process to conduct:
Electrical shocks can be frightening and unexpected, however precautionary steps can be taken to mitigate the risk of electrical injury in the home or workplace. Ensure that all extension cords and appliances are in good working order and that electrical outlets have child safety covers. For new device installations in your home or business, contact a qualified and licensed electrician. Go with the team powering Perth’s southern homes and businesses for over 50 years. Go with Gorey Electrical.
Below is a list of links and resources for further information and recommended processes: