Electrocution (death by electric shock) can happen at home and in the workplace — at anytime to anyone, even skilled electrical professionals.
Electric cooperative hearts were heavy at the news of an Ohio apprentice lineman losing his life after an electrical contact while working to restore power to a weather-stricken part of Ohio just days before Christmas 2022.
This, and the thousands of incidents that occur each year in the U.S., is why Kansas Country Living consistently publishes electrical safety articles, public service announcements and graphics that remind us all to respect the power of electricity.
Yes, it’s easy to become complacent. You flip a switch and without fanfare a light turns on or a coffee pot begins brewing. Yet, in the United States, there are approximately 1,000 deaths per year resulting from electrical injuries. Of these, approximately 400 are due to high-voltage electrical injuries. There are also at least 30,000 non-fatal shock incidents per year, and approximately 5% of all burn unit admissions in the U.S. occur as a result of electrical injuries.
What’s more alarming is that approximately 20% of all electrical injuries occur in children. The incidence is highest in toddlers and adolescents and occurs most often at home.
Kansas Country Living urges readers to practice and share the electrical safety tips within the pages of the magazine and your co-op’s local pages with every member of your family. Even performing something as simple as changing a lightbulb without unplugging the lamp can be dangerous when any part of the body touches the live part of the socket.
Almost all electrical injuries are accidental and often, preventable. For example, if you unplug an electronic device while it’s on, the flow of electricity might create an arc, which is the electricity literally jumping across the gap from the outlet to the plug. Always turn off the device before unplugging or plugging it in. Large appliances, like dryers, ranges, AC units, and even electric heaters, can create dangerous arcs when disconnected or connected under load.