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What to Do When Electric Shock Occurs

One of the most common electrical incidents you’ll ever experience is an electric shock. Depending on how strong and intense the shock is, you might be in great danger. In 2018, there were 160 deaths from electric shocks alone. This is an increase of 18% from the previous year in Australia. Electric shocks are not a small joke. This should only show everybody that electricity is fatal. Mishandling and dangers from power can cause anybody to lose their life on the spot. 

Emergencies and dangers of electric shocks are serious. However, there are things you can do during an emergency instance before help arrives. You can give the first aid before healthcare professionals take over and help the victim. Be vigilant and practise these to avoid further harm to the victim and your home. 

Call emergency hotline

Call the emergency hotline first. While they’re rushing on the way, that’s when you can start moving and doing the other things. At least when they’re there, there is less harm and you performed the best First Aid possible. There are two numbers you should always be aware of in case of emergencies. 

  • Call 000 for fixed phone, mobile phones and payphones for the first call
  • Call 112 for the emergency service number for mobile phones

For any electrical emergencies, call the emergency immediately. Not all symptoms of a possible electric shock are obvious. Look out for any other signs that the victim experienced an electric shock.

  • State of unconsciousness
  • Breathing problems
  • Seizures
  • Burn marks
  • Muscle contractions

Turn off the electric source (if you can)

Your first instinct when seeing a victim is to pry anything the source of shock. Avoid doing this at any cost. You never know how strong the power is running through somebody’s body. Touching them might conduct electricity over to you too. This will cause more harm to both the victim and you in the process.

Make sure that the area is not in the vicinity of any high voltage wiring. Unless power supply is completely turned off, don’t go anywhere near. Stay away and wait for emergency help especially if there are sparks and there are wires loose. 

If you’re not near any high voltage sources, what you can do is to turn off the source. This will mitigate the power that is running through. Locate the switchboard or the circuit breakers in your home. turn it off to shut off whichever device is causing the shock. Do this carefully as there is still a high chance that you will get a shock too. Use an object that is non-conductive of electricity and use it to pry away the object and turn off the power source.  

Do the First Aid

Check on the victim afterwards. Do the First Aid on them. These are the steps you can follow to perform the basic steps of first aid.

  • Check the consciousness and responsiveness of the victim. If they’re conscious enough, they can inform you about the pain and how to handle it.
  • If they’re unresponsive and not breathing, prepare to do a proper CPR until help arrives. Check for the airway and the breathing.
  • For a CPR put the victim aligned and on their back. Lift the chin and perform 30 chest compressions. Add 2 rescue breaths through the mouth.
  • Check the pulse at the major pulse points of the body like the wrists and carotid artery. 
  • If there are any burns from the electric shock, use a gauze to cover the wounds after treating. 


Electric shocks are common in many settings. However, this doesn’t mean that we should wait for emergencies happen. Lessen the chance of electric shocks happening. Prepare your spaces beforehand. Install for the safety devices that help lessen power surges. Upgrade your power systems when necessary. Always do a regular inspection. You can avoid electric shocks in simple ways. 

Need an emergency electrician? You can call us at (02) 8378 2828 or book with us here. We are available 24/7.

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