What to do in an Electrical Emergency

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An electrical emergency can be worrying and frightening.  A little preparedness and swift action can help avoid a tragedy.

Basic safety, like keeping a chemical fire extinguisher handy in your home or office is a good idea.  Also, plan an emergency escape route and discuss it with your family, especially children.  Confirm everyone knows where to meet and practice fire drills regularly.

Here's what to do in 3 common emergency situations:

Appliance electrical shock

Situation:

Someone receives a shock from an appliance like a toaster or power drill.

You should:

  1.     Avoid touching the person.  You could get shocked or injured too.
  2.     Unplug the appliance or turn the power off at the main switch box.
  3.     Call 000 emergency services and request an Ambulance.
  4.     Keep the person warm, still and lying down until help arrives.

Power line electrical shock

Situation:

Someone receives a shock from a fallen power line.

You should:

  1.     Avoid moving the power line or touching the person.  You could get shocked or injured too.
  2.     Call 000 emergency services and request an Ambulance.
  3.     Call your local electricity network company immediately.
  4.     Keep the person warm, still and lying down until help arrives.

Electrical fire

Situation:

Something flammable is placed too close to a light bulb or other electrical heat source.  An overloaded cord or wiring melts, exposing live wires that spark a fire.

 ​You should:

  1.     Avoid using water on electrical fires.  This could make it worse.
  2.     Call 000 emergency services and request the Fire Brigade.
  3.     If appropriately trained and equipped with an electrical fire extinguisher, take action.
  4.     Leave the area immediately.

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