Dealing With Electric Shock

In the event of someone receiving an electric shock you need to act quickly. Prompt action can reduce the chance of serious injury or even save the persons life. This advice assumes that the person is still in contact with the electrical circuit.

1. The first thing you should do is turn off the power at the main switch on the consumer unit. If you do not know where this is, find it now and make sure any other adults in the house also know. You can usually find the consumer unit by the front door of a house, but it may be under the stairs or somewhere completely different.

2. If you cannot turn off the power, you need to break the circuit to the person receiving the shock. Stand on a book or catalogue (or other insulating material) and use a wooden pole, such as a broom handle, to move the source of the current away from the person. If you cannot do this, stand on the book and grab the persons clothing to drag them away from the current. Never touch bare skin!

3. Call an ambulance!

4. Lay a badly shocked but consious person on their back with their legs slightly raised and cover them with a blanket. Treat any visible burns with cold water but do not try to remove clothing or shoes. Cover visible burns with a sterile dressing if you have any, but do not apply any cream or ointment.

5. Do not allow a shocked person to drink, eat or smoke until they have been seen by a doctor.

6. If the person is unconsious, place them in the recovery position, tilt their head back and make sure they are breathing. Wait for the ambulance.

7. If the person is not breathing, and you know how to provide CPR, do so until they start to breath again or the ambulance arrives.