First Aid for Electric Shock

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The electric current may cause little or no skin burn but severely damage internal organs. Moreover, it may take some time for symptoms to appear. So, if you cannot diagnose any surface damage, do not underestimate the severity of the burn and see your doctor immediately.

What to do if someone gets electrocuted?

You should never touch a victim of electric shock until you have not switched off the power from the main supply. However, there are some conditions in which you might not be able to turn off the electricity. Helping the victim in these cases depends on the voltage:

1. Low voltage electric shock

If you find a victim in contact with low voltage wire, you should approach him with caution. It is possible that the floor also conducts electricity, especially when it is wet. So, if you have a tingling feeling in your feet, do not approach anymore and leave that location immediately, using jump technique.

Electrical safety tips

Jump away, do not walk, when moving away from the energized ground. To do so, jump with your feet together or lift one foot up and jump away.

If you could reach the victim without any problem, separate the person from the live wire using a non-conductive object such as dry wood.

You can also loop a rope around the victim’s limbs and drag him off the wire. Wearing rubber gloves and standing on dry, non-conductive material (such as a piece of wood, a plastic object or a book) substantially reduce the risk of electric shock, when helping a victim.

2. High voltage shock

In high voltages, it is not necessary to touch energized wiring to suffer an electric shock. For example, a person 60 feet (18 meters) away from high voltage wire is likely to get an electric shock in dry weather. That’s why your distance must be at least 80 feet (25 meters) from high voltage wires. On the other hand, at high voltages, non-conductive objects (such as dry wood) can also conduct electricity.

So, call the Power Company and do not approach the victim until power has been turned off, or else you will be the next victim.

What to do if power lines fall on your car?

If the power line falls on your vehicle, it’s better to stay inside the car until help arrives. Use the jump technique, if you should escape the car, due to an emergency condition such as a fire.

Lightning safety

Lightning strikes can cause injury and death. To reduce the risk of being struck by lightning, consider the following tips:

What to do in a lightning storm outside?

If you’re outside when lightning comes up, take shelter under the rocks (inside a cave, for example) or go to the lowest point possible. Standing in high places, open grounds, and water bodies will increase the risk of lightning injury or death.

Avoid objects such as utility poles, high rise buildings and trees, metal objects and anything that conducts electricity, to decrease the risk of a lightning strike. If you are in a forest with no other options, stay away from tall, isolated trees and seek shelter under small ones.

You can fall victim to lightning striking a nearby person. To avoid it, keep at least 100 feet (30 meters) away from other people when you see lightning.

If there is no shelter available, as a last resort, crouch down with your head between your knees and your heels touching, place the palms of your hands over your ears and close your eyes. This position reduces the risk of being struck by lightning and minimizes the chance of being injured if it happens.

Are you safe from lightning in a car?

Stay inside the car, with the windows and doors closed and do not use electronic devices. Furthermore, don’t touch the steering wheel, gear shift and any part of the metal frame.

How to stay safe from lightning indoors?

Even though a house offers the best protection from lightning, to ensure maximum safety consider the following:

During the lightning close all the windows and curtains, go to the windowless rooms. Moreover, stay away from the doors, panel radiators and heaters, do not use the bathroom, and refrain from touching concrete surfaces. In places that are more prone to lightning strikes, it is recommended to install lightning rods on top of the building.

Though lightning may damage electronic devices, it is dangerous to unplug them during lightning. So, unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives, but do not touch them (even telephones) during the lightning.

Lightning strike first aid

Contrary to popular misconception, lightning can strike the same place more than once. So, help the victim only if you are not in the danger of being struck by lightning. On the other hand, the human body does not retain the electrical charge from the strike. Therefore, there is no danger in helping lightning victims, once the scene is deemed safe.

Cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death for lightning strike victims. Consequently, helping victims needs resuscitation equipment. So, you should call emergency services straight away. If you think it takes too long for help to arrive, you’ll need to do CPR immediately.

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