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What to do in an electrical emergency

Electric shock

[image] What to do in an electrical emergency.

  • If someone comes into contact with a live electrical source around the home do not touch them.
  • Switch the power off, either at the source or at the main power switch.  If you touch the person while they are still in contact with the electrical current you will also get an electric shock or be electrocuted.
  • The longer a person is in contact with the power source, the more likely the shock will be fatal.  If it is not possible to turn the power off, use an insulated object such as a broom with a dry wooden handle to push the victim clear of the source of shock.  Wear rubber soled shoes if possible.
  • Never choose anything even slightly damp to help rescue the victim.
  • Phone for an ambulance immediately – dial 111.
  • Administer appropriate first aid such as CPR.  If you have not had first aid training, the emergency operator may be able to give you directions until help arrives.
  • In all cases of electric shock, even if the victim feels fine, seek medical treatment and advice immediately.  Visit your local doctor or after hours medical centre.  Report all electrical accidents to the Energy Safety.


Learn first aid – It may save a life

For a list of First Aid courses available in your area call your local Red Cross branch or the St John’s Ambulance.


Electrical fire

  • Never throw water on an electrical fire.  If possible, disconnect the faulty appliance or turn off the power.  Keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher handy at all times.
  • If necessary, phone the Fire Service – dial 111.
  • Report electrically caused fires to the Energy Safety.
  • Dispose of faulty appliances or get electrical installations checked by a licensed electrical worker.
  • To be prepared, install smoke detectors in your home and have an evacuation plan that all members of the family know and have practised. Your local fire station can advise on the best routes out of your house in the event of a fire.


Electrical wires that have fallen down

  • Stay away from all electric wires that have fallen down, as they may be live. 
  • Get help immediately by calling your local electricity supply company.  The company will disconnect the fallen wire from the power source and repair the damage. 
  • The emergency services pages in your phone book will list these numbers. 


Last updated 27 July 2012
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