When most people hear of the term “electrical burn,” they may think of being struck by lightning or accidentally coming into contact with an electric fence. There are, however, way more likely and commonplace circumstances that can lead someone to suffer electrocution or another electrical injury, ones that we encounter in our day-to-day lives, such as using defective electrical products and devices, engaging in risky behavior with electrical appliances, and underestimating the hazardous nature of electrical work.
In honor of National Burn Awareness Week 2021 and its theme “Electrical Safety from Amps to Zap (A to Z),” sponsored by the American Burn Association (ABA) from February 7-13, 2021, Eisenberg Cutt Kendell & Olson is sharing 5 electrical burn safety and prevention tips to keep yourself and others safe from the oft-overlooked dangers of electricity.
The Dangers of Electrical Burns
First, we should discuss why electrical burns are so dangerous: These burns can cause terrible damage to internal tissues, organs, and systems as the electrical current travels through a person’s body. Sometimes, a person will lose consciousness after suffering an electrical injury, which can cause their internal injuries to get progressively worse as they are left unattended, as well as allow the progression of any other injuries that were sustained (for instance, when losing consciousness and falling to the floor, a person may suffer a concussion, break a bone, or injure their spinal cord). Remember, an electrical burn can result from any sort of contact with an open current of electricity, so it is important to make a habit of erring on the side of caution whenever you are near an exposed current.
Practice Electrical Safety with Our 5 Burn Prevention Tips
1.Approach Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Projects Involving Electricity with Caution
DIY projects have been increasing in popularity in recent years, but it is vital to approach any project that involves electricity with great care by taking extra precautions to avoid coming into contact with any currents of electricity. In fact, it is best not to do any electrical work on your own if you are not a professional; for example, rewiring your house is not a safe DIY project.
2.Do Not Use Electrical Appliances When Near Open/Running Water
Hair dryers, electric shavers, and even electric toothbrushes carry the risk of electric shock. Never use a hair dryer or other hair tool near a wet sink, bathtub, shower, or countertop. Do not plug in any of these cords (or that of any other electrical appliance for that matter) with wet or damp hands or if the plug/cord is wet; doing so is very likely to result in electrocution.
3.Stay Far Away from Downed Power Lines
Power lines contain high-voltage currents of electricity that should not, under any circumstances, be handled by anyone except a professional. Stay at least 35 feet away from any downed power lines and call 911 immediately. If the power line seems to be sparking, stay even farther away to be safe.
4.Replace Old, Brittle, Fraying Cords
Although it is, no doubt, convenient to use a cord for as long as it continues to work, it is very risky to do so if any wiring is exposed, fraying, or brittle. Dispose of any worn-out cords and cables and promptly replace them to avoid electric shock, as well as to prevent them from starting any electrical fires.
5.When Not in Use, Unplug Electrical Appliances
Believe it or not, plugged-in electrical appliances continue to conduct electricity even when they are shut off. To avoid any short circuits and electrical fires, unplug any and all appliances when not in use.
Eisenberg Cutt Kendell & Olson is a Salt Lake City personal injury firm that has won much acclaim for our work in holding negligent parties accountable for their actions. If you are a Utah resident and someone else’s negligence caused you an electrical burn, contact our lawyers online or at (801) 901-3470 today to learn how we can help.