Injuries from electrical currents can be life-threatening. Generally, electricity tries to travel to the ground. If a person gets in its way, electricity will travel through the person, causing injuries or even death. The medical journal Eplasty defines electric shock as a sudden violent response to an electric current flow through any part of a person’s body. Electrocution is death caused by electric shock. Primary electrical injury is tissue damage produced directly by electrical current or voltage.
Why Is Electrical Safety Important?
According to “Electrical Injuries,” a book authored by four physicians, electrical injuries in the U.S. cause 1,000 deaths and 30,000 non-fatal incidents every year. Children comprise 20% of the injured, while 5% of all burn admissions to hospitals are due to electrical injuries.
“Almost all electrical injuries are accidental and often preventable. If not instantly fatal, the damage associated with electrical injuries can result in the dysfunction of multiple tissues or organs,” the doctors write.
How Can We Be Safe From Electrical Shocks?
Although electrical injuries are commonly associated with on-site workplace accidents or lightning strikes, electrical injuries can also happen at home. To protect yourself and your family:
- Always use a licensed electrician to perform electrical work in your home
- Don’t wear rings and other metallic jewelry when using electrical equipment
- Child- and pet-proof your home by using plug covers in electrical outlets
- Store kitchen and bathroom appliances away from water sources
- Home gardeners should steer clear of overhead power lines and underground utility lines
- Do not touch anyone who has touched a power line – they may still be in contact with the electrical source, and you could be hurt. Call 911 for help
How Do I Avoid Electrical Accidents in My Home?
The electrical accident lawyers at Cohen and Juda, P.A., have prepared a list of the most common causes of home electrical injuries in South Florida. Take steps now to avoid these scenarios in your home.
1. Keep electrical appliances away from water
Water and electricity can be a lethal combination. Avoid using phones and electrical appliances while in the bathtub/shower, swimming pool, or with wet hands. Teach young children about the dangers of using electrical appliances near water.
2. Discontinue use of malfunctioning appliances
Hairdryers, irons, coffee makers, blenders, ovens, washers and dryers, power tools, decorative lights, space heaters, and other appliances eventually wear out. Stop using the appliance immediately if it shorts out, gives off smoke or sparks, overheats, or causes small electrical shocks.
If the appliance is under warranty, it could be defective – contact the manufacturer for repair or replacement. If the warranty has expired, call a licensed repair shop or replace the item with a new appliance. Unless you are qualified to fix the appliance, let a professional handle it – the DIY is not worth a possible electrical shock.
3. Avoid using the wrong bulb wattage for light fixtures
It happens too frequently: a lightbulb burns out in a lamp or ceiling fixture, and the only fresh bulb in the house is of a higher wattage than what is appropriate for the fixture. Using the higher-watt bulb can injure the installer or overheat and cause an electrical fire.
4. Replace faulty or aging wiring
Improper wiring installation in homes can cause sparks, which can lead to electrical fires. Older homes may have wiring that is worn out or not up to current building codes. Call a licensed electrician to inspect the house’s wiring if you hear noises coming from an outlet or a wall switch feels hot to the touch.
5. Examine extension cords for damage
Extension cords can overheat at the plug, at the socket, or over the length of the cord. Worn connections to the cord usually cause hot plugs and sockets. Overloading the cord by connecting too many appliances at once can overheat the cord itself. Small wires in older cords can quickly overheat.
If extension cords are hot to the touch, disconnect the appliance(s). Check cords to make sure they are not loose or frayed. Replace damaged cords. Discourage pets from chewing on cords.
At Cohen and Juda, P.A., We Will Represent You Personally in Electrical Injury Cases
If you or your loved one have suffered injuries caused by electrical wiring, a faulty appliance, an exposed wire or power line, or other electrical issues in South Florida, contact the law offices of Cohen and Juda, P.A. We will personally represent you in cases involving injuries due to electrical accidents. Mr. Cohen and Mr. Juda have each been practicing for 30 years. As experienced attorneys in personal injury law, we have resolved millions of dollars in cases through trial and settlement. We are pleased to offer you a free consultation. Call 954-424-1440 today to speak with our team located in Plantation, FL.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.