©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Cover electrical outlets with safety plugs to protect children from electrical shock.

A Guide to Household Electricity Hazards

Electricity is a power source we rely on, day after day. This essential component of our homes, however, poses a hazard -- electrical shock.

While most of us take electricity for granted, because it can't be seen or smelled, coming in contact with electricity can be dangerous and even deadly. Electrical shocks can knock you unconscious, cause deep tissue burns, and stop your breathing and heartbeat. Take the proper precautions with electricity, and you will reap the benefits without the dangers.

  • Put safety plugs over all electrical outlets to prevent children from sticking screwdrivers, nails, pins, or other metal objects into them.
  • Never use electrical appliances such as radios or hair dryers near a filled bathtub or sink. They could fall in and electrocute someone.
  • Never touch anything electrical with wet hands or while standing in water.
  • Don't run extension cords under the rug or carpet. The wires can quickly become frayed or broken from people walking on them, causing shocks and fires.
  • Always turn off the circuit breaker before changing a lightbulb that has broken off from its base or before making any electrical repairs.
  • Do not talk on the phone, take a bath, or use electric appliances during a lightning storm. The electrical charge can come in through the water pipes or telephone wires.
  • Never touch someone who has been electrocuted without first shutting off the power source or moving them away from it with a nonmetal object, such as a wooden broom handle. The current could pass through the individual's body and shock you.

You probably were already aware that electricity can be dangerous, but did you know that lack of adequate lighting in your home, having scatter rugs, and jumping out of bed quickly are dangerous, too? These can cause you to accidentally fall. Find out who is most at risk for falling, and what preventative steps you can take against falls in your home.This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.