Make electricity your friend, not a foe!
Electricity has become such an integral part of our daily lives that we sometimes take it for granted. Fridges, computers, heaters and televisions, even some toys, all need electricity to make them work and the world would be a boring place without them! When used properly and with care, you can avoid electrical hazards and any potential dangers.
Knowledge is power!
The key to preventing a dangerous situation is understanding how things work, so that you can avoid putting yourself at risk. Because we want you to play it safe around home, at school and outdoors, we want you to know how to use electricity the right way so that you can stay safe, have fun and watch out for others.
Throughout our Stay Safe Around Electricity section, you'll learn everything from what electricity is, to how to spot potential hazards and what to do in an emergency.
Putting safety first
The appliances we use around our home and at school don't last forever. Things that are used often can wear out, and other items can deteriorate with age, or sometimes appliances can become faulty, even if they're new. In any of these cases they can become accidents waiting to happen, so you need to watch out for them, take care, and know what you need to do to help if somebody gets an electric shock.
A person receives an electric shock when a current passes through their body. This happens when they come into contact with live metal or live conductors, which will cause the current to flow through their body.
The human body doesn't like these currents. Therefore, it is a shock and the body will suffer injuries including burns or damage to internal organs. These injuries can be serious and can even be fatal, but understanding how to avoid them will help keep you safe.
There is a much higher risk of electric shock if you are standing in a pool of water. For example, this could happen when your kitchen floor is wet with water from an overflow at the kitchen sink, or while you are cleaning your kitchen floor with water.
If you touch a person who is receiving a shock, you will also receive the shock. So, if you suspect that a person is being shocked, do not rush to go and touch them.
Tell an adult to turn off the main power to the house (you can also ask an adult to show you where the main switch for power is in your home so you know in advance).
Call 111 for help; tell them it is an electrical accident.
When the person is not in contact with the source of electricity and you're sure there is no danger, ask an adult to give first aid for electrical injury. This may include CPR if they are not breathing.
Don't touch burns, break blisters or remove burned clothing; wait for the ambulance.