All About Energy - Emergency Care

Electric Shocks

An electric shock is one of the common hazards of using electricity. It can cause muscle spasms, severe burns, unconsciousness, or even death.

An electric shock will result from any of the following situations:
  • If you touch a live wire on an electrical ground
  • If you touch a live wire and another wire at a different voltage
Here are a few safety tips to avoid electric shocks:
  • Always use safety gloves and shoes, while engaging in electrical works.
  • Never use wet hands while handling electrical equipment.
  • Avoid pulling electrical cords with wires from sockets.
  • Do not to insert open cord wire directly in the socket. Always use plug pins.
  • Don’t load a single socket with many plugs.
  • Always use three-pin sockets (preferably with shutters). Confirm that earth point is healthy.
  • Always use ISI marked material.

Fire Due to Short Circuit

A fire caused due to a short circuit is among the most common electrical mishaps, and also the most dangerous, potentially resulting in loss of both property and human life.

An electrical fire can be caused due to many reasons. Some of the major reasons are:

  • Short circuit in wiring/cables
  • Loose connections leading to sparking
  • Overloading of conductors/cables and equipment
  • Electrical source close to flammable materials
  • Use of inferior grade materials and equipment
  • Use of undersized fuses leading to sparking and breakdown
  • Generation of static electricity

Ways to Prevent Electrical Fires

  • Always use good quality (ISI) cables.
  • Please make sure that electrical outlets are designed to handle appliance loads.
  • If an electric appliance smokes or gives away an unusual smell, unplug it immediately, then do the proper servicing before using it again.
  • Please avoid joints in wiring (taping of wires). Instead, use an extension box with fuse or opt for soldering and proper mechanical joints.
  • Always renew the wiring after a certain period. Replace electrical cords that are cracked or frayed.
  • Please use adequate capacity fuses for protection. Do not increase the ratings without ascertainingreason of fuse blowing.
  • Don’t tamper with the fuse box. Install the fuse board away from combustible materials like paper, oil, curtains etc.
  • Please keep flammable material (gasoline, oil etc.) safely in special containers.
  • Please disconnect electrical tools and appliances when not in use.
  • Please use correct rating Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker (ELCB). A leakage current even of 1 ampere cancause electrical fire without an ELCB.

Natural Disasters

Natural disasters like earthquakes can strike at any moment. The best way to be safe, is to be prepared.
Here are a few must-do’s to remember:

Safeguards before an earthquake strikes:
  • Educate yourself on the basics of first aid and fire fighting.
  • Keep beds away from glass windows.
  • Do not hang photo frames, mirrors, or glasses over your bed.
  • Keep important documents, some cash and necessary articles in an easily accessible location.
Immediate action to be taken during an earthquake:
  • First and foremost, don’t panic.
  • If already inside, stay indoors. Get under a heavy desk or table and hang on to it.
  • If a fire breaks out, drop on the floor and crawl towards the exit.
  • If you are outdoors during the quake, keep away from buildings, trees and electricity lines and walk towards open spaces.
  • If you are driving, quickly but carefully, move your car as far out of traffic as possible and stop. Do not stop on or under a bridge or overpass or under trees, light posts, power lines, or signs.Stay inside the car until shaking stops.
Things to do after the Earthquake:
  • Check for injuries to yourself and those around you. Administer first aid wherever required.
  • Extinguish fires, if any.
  • Examine walls, floors, doors, staircases and windows to make sure that the building is not in danger of collapsing.
  • Do not enter unsafe or risky houses or buildings.
  • Inspect for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noises, open a window and quickly leave the building. Don’t light your kitchen stove if you suspect a gas leak.
  • Do not keep telephone lines busy unnecessarily.
  • Switch off electric lines.