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Electrical Burn Accidents


Electrical burn accidents that cause serious injuries can occur at home or in the workplace. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), approximately 40,000 residential fires per year are caused by electrical accidents.

Too many plugs in an outlet.
Electrical accidents can cause severe burn injuries that are difficult to treat.

Types of Electrical Accidents

There are three main types of electrical accidents:

  • Electric shock: occurs when an extremity such as a finger, hand, or arm is placed across an electric current. The body is a good conductor of electricity because it is made up of mostly water. Electric shock can be mild, moderate, or severe. A mild electric shock leaves a slight tingling sensation. Moderate electric shock causes the muscles to contract and it may be difficult to pull away from the electric current. Severe electric shock causes respiratory or heart failure.
  • Electrical burn: occurs when severe electric shock causes tissue to burn. Electrical burns can be external or internal. Internal burns occur when the electric current takes a path through bone and burns deep tissue.
  • Electrical fires: occur when electric current ignites flammable materials. Electrical fires are extremely dangerous because putting them out with water may expose a person to a higher risk of electric shock.

Electrical Accident Causes

Electrical accidents can occur due to a number of factors, including:

  • Old wiring
  • Electric cords that run under carpeting
  • Flammable materials left near exposed electrical wiring in the workplace
  • Loose connectors
  • Poor wiring: substandard wiring can lead to electrical fires and electric shock
  • Lack of preventive devices such as ground fault circuit interrupters (a device that monitors and shuts off electric current in the event that the flow fluctuates), three-pronged outlets, and polarized plugs

Preventing Electrical Accidents

Electrical accidents can be prevented by:

  • Replacing old and damaged wiring
  • Hiring a qualified electrician
  • Not overloading outlets
  • Not using frayed or damaged electric cords
  • Using the proper wattage light bulbs in light fixtures
  • Installing ground fault circuit interrupters

Consult an Electrical Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been harmed in an electrical accident, you may want to contact an electrical accident lawyer for more information.

Related to Electrical Accidents

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