The Dangers of Electrical Injury or Electrocution
Summary: While electrical injuries may seem like an extremely small risk, electrical injuries are a real thing in the United States. This article covers major types of electrical accidents and safety tips.
We’re now living in a world where it’s increasingly easier to do housework by ourselves. With the Internet (specifically, YouTube), we can have a better idea of how to fix or install household appliances or other items without calling a professional.
But having said this, the fact that you may be able to fix or install your household items doesn’t mean that you should. One of the most significant risks that you’ll face when working around your home is electrical injury or electrocution. It goes without saying, but electrical injuries can be extremely dangerous.
Even if you are careful and take the proper precautions, it is worth your time to understand these dangers and how you can mitigate them. In doing so, you can stay cautious and complete household work as safely as possible.
Some Insightful Statistics
While electrical injuries may seem like an extremely small risk, electrical injuries are a real thing in the United States. On average, 400 people die from electrocution and 4,400 people are injured each year. From these figures, 180 deaths are related to consumer products and 325 deaths are from electrical workplace accidents. There are also many deaths and injuries from electrical fires. Electricity causes 140,000 fires each year in the United States, with 400 deaths, 4,000 injuries, and $1.6 billion in property damage.
As you can see, electricity is threatening in and of itself and the ability to cause large fires. For homeowners, the threats can come from many different places. Consumer products are a real threat, whether you use malfunctioning products or carelessly disconnect appliances. That being said, electrical injuries may come from places that you may not necessarily expect. Extension cords, electrical tools, and even electrical power lines outside your home can be real threats. And as mentioned above, some of the most distinct threats come from DIY projects. Even though there is plenty of information on how to repair appliances and other household goods, you run the risk of injuring yourself when doing so.
Keeping Yourself Safe
Considering these threats, it is important to understand some key steps that you can take to mitigate your risks of death or injury from electricity. While this isn’t a complete list, these tips can go a long way in keeping you safe.
First, make sure to unplug any appliance before you repair it. This is an extremely simple step, yet it may be overlooked. Rather than take a chance, just go ahead and unplug the appliance. When doing so, however, make sure that you are disconnecting those appliances by pulling on the plug, rather than the cord. Pulling on the plug is safer and mitigates the chances of any accidental electric incident.
From there, avoid using electric appliances near water. The threat is widely known. You become electricity’s path to the ground if you are touching water that is touching electricity. Obviously, this is extremely dangerous (and potentially fatal). Luckily, there is quite an easy way to reduce this threat. When using or working on a plugged-in electric appliance, make sure that you aren’t near water. It’s as simple as that.
Next, keep combustible items (like clothes and curtains) at least three feet away from heaters. This is true whether your heater is electric, gas, or kerosene-fueled. While the risk of a potential fire is low, your electric heater may malfunction. Ultimately, it is better to remove the possibility entirely by keeping these items away from your heater.
Finally, don’t be afraid to call a professional. If you ever feel doubts or concerns when repairing or using an appliance, don’t hesitate to call an electrician. While your pocket may be lighter, it is better to call a trained professional than run the risk of getting hurt or injured.
Ultimately, electricity is no joke. While you may think the odds of slim are getting hurt or injured, the risk is always there. We encourage you to keep the above tips in mind as you go about working with or repairing items in your home.
If you do get injured from a faulty appliance, however, you will likely want compensation for your injuries. Hiring an electrical injury lawyer can go a long way in helping you get the compensation you deserve. In the end, we encourage you to get started today.
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