Not a scene you ever want to imagine, that you come home and witness the terrifying sight of a family member being shocked. How you react to this situation could save not only the victim’s life, but your own as well.
DON’T RUSH IN
Evaluate the scene. Look for obvious dangers. Assess where the electricity is coming from.
LOOK FOR WATER
If there is water present at the scene and you step in it, you will get shocked.
TURN OFF THE POWER
If you can safely get to the electrical box without going near the victim, or stepping in water, turn off the main power breaker.
DO NOT TOUCH THE VICTIM
A person being shocked needs to be separated from the power source. Do not touch the victim while the power is on. Electricity will flow from that person into you. Turn off the switch or disconnect the power. If the power cannot be turned off, pry the victim from the power source using something made of a non-conducting material such as a wooden stick. Examples of non-conducting materials are: wood, rubber, plastic, glass, paper, cardboard. Do not use anything made of metal.
If in doubt, call 911. Calmly explain the situation so the responders know what to expect on arrival and clearly give them your name and address.
If the victim is not breathing or responding, start chest compressions immediately. If you are not trained in this, just do your best. If you do nothing, the person is likely to die. Interlock your hands and place them in the middle of the victim’s chest and push down hard. Imagine that each chest compression is a heartbeat. Keep going until paramedics arrive.
SEE A DOCTOR
However minor the shock, make sure the victim follows up with a doctor. Heart problems can occur several hours after an incident.