What counts as an electric shock?
An electric shock occurs when you make contact with live electricity, causing a dangerous electrical current to run through your body.
The effects of an electric shock range from tingling and mild discomfort through to burns, severe internal and external injuries (including heart damage), unconsciousness and death from electrocution.
It is critical you seek medical attention for any electric shock, no matter how minor it seems, as you can’t always see the injury it has done to your body.
What immediate action should I take?
Get urgent medical attention for all shocks. Call 000 for an ambulance.
If the injured person is still in contact with the electrical current, do not touch them or nearby objects. If it is essential to make contact with the injured person, ensure the source of supply is switched off.
Report shocks and tingles immediately to 13 23 51.
Do not touch any metal appliances, water taps or gas fittings until Horizon Power advises it is safe to do so. Stay at least 10 metres away from fallen power lines or damaged green domes that house electrical wires.
What can I get an electric shock from?
If it’s metallic and it connects to a building’s earthing system, it can give you a shock if the wiring is faulty or degraded. Think indoor and outdoor taps, metal pipes and gas fitting, or appliances and equipment (with an earth pin) you plug into power points.
What are common causes of electric shocks?
- Incorrect or deteriorated household wiring
- Faulty or failed customer neutral wire connections
- Faulty electrical appliances
- Exposed electrical wires, including damaged cords and leads
- Electrical equipment coming into contact with water
- Cutting through a live cable
- Fallen powerlines
What warning signs should I look out for?
If your lights brighten or dim for no reason, or you feel a tingle or slight shock when you touch taps, pipes or appliances, there may be a problem with the electrical system. Don’t risk your safety waiting until it becomes more serious, contact Horizon Power on 13 23 51 immediately. If you rent, contact us directly and don’t leave it to the property manager or owner. Avoid touching any metal appliances, taps or gas fittings until we give you the ok.
Should I turn off the power mains if someone experiences a shock or tingle?
As most mains switchboards are enclosed in metal, don’t try and turn off the mains power.
The safest approach is to avoid touching any exposed metallic surfaces until a Horizon Power crew checks out your property.
Doesn’t my RCD safety switch keep me safe?
By law, all rental properties must have a Residual Current Device (RCD) or safety switch. If you own your own home, we highly recommend installing an RCD if you don’t already have one. It instantly switches off the electricity to your home if there is an electrical fault.
While it will protect you from some electrical hazards, it can’t respond to faults in all parts of the circuit. That’s why it is so important to act on tingles, shocks and lights that are playing up.Find out more
Will my power automatically be disconnected when I report a shock?
The first thing we do is send a team to investigate and locate the fault. Once we know what we’re dealing with, we can ensure that the correct safety work is completed by the most qualified people. We only disconnect the power when it is impossible to remedy the problem while your property is on network supply, or there is a risk to you or the community.
Who pays for fixing faults?
It is free to call out Horizon Power on 13 23 51 to investigate a suspected fault.
If the shock report reveals the cause is with our equipment, we will replace it at our cost. If the fault is with your wiring or equipment, the property owner will need to pay for a licensed electrical contractor to make the repairs. As frustrating as an unexpected bill is, please attend to repairs immediately. You can’t put a price on your safety.
If there is a serious incident or death
In the case of a serious incident from an electrical fault, the incident area will be isolated. The area may be closed until the investigation has been completed and the area deemed safe and rectified by an electrical contractor.
Don’t dig if you don’t know what’s down there
If you plan on digging or excavating, it’s important you don’t start until you know where underground cables are located. Because accidentally hitting or damaging underground cables can be costly and dangerous. It could even cost you your life.
Horizon Power acknowledges the Traditional Custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain images, names or voices of deceased people.