Electrical accidents can occur at home or in the workplace. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), approximately 40,000 residential fires per year are caused by electric accidents.
Types of Electric Accidents
There are three main types of electric accidents:
- Electric shock – occurs when an extremity such as a finger, hand, or arm is placed across the electric current. The body is a good conductor of electricity because it is made up of mostly water. Electric shock can be mild, moderate, or severe. A mild electric shock leaves a slight tingling sensation. Moderate electric shock causes the muscles to contract and it may be difficult to pull away from the electric current. Severe electric shock causes respiratory or heart failure.
- Electric burn – occurs when severe electric shock causes tissue to burn. Electric burn can be external or internal. Internal burn occurs when the electric current takes a path through bone and burns deep tissue.
- Electric fires – occurs when electric current ignites flammable materials. Electric fires are extremely dangerous because putting them out with water may expose a person to a higher risk of electric shock.
Causes of Electrical Accident
Electrical accidents can occur due to a number of factors, including:
- Old wiring
- Electric cords that run under carpeting
- Flammable materials left near exposed electric wiring in the workplace
- Loose connectors
- Poor wiring – substandard wiring can lead to electric fires and electric shock
- Lack of preventive devices such as ground fault circuit interrupters (a device that monitors and shuts off electric current in the event that the flow fluctuates), three-pronged outlets, and polarized plugs
Preventing Electrical Accidents
Electrical accidents can be prevented in the following ways:
- Replace old and damaged wiring
- Hire a qualified electrician
- Avoid overloading outlets
- Avoid using frayed or damaged electric cords
- Use the proper wattage light bulbs in light fixtures
- Install ground fault circuit interrupters
Electrical Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been harmed in an electrical accident, contact an electrical accident lawyer to learn more about your legal rights and how to file a personal injury lawsuit.