State officials release tips on how to avoid electrocution

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The state has released tips and statistics on shock and electrocution as a reminder that May is National Electrical Safety Month.

Safety experts say each year, some 24-hundred children suffer shocks and burns from sticking objects into electrical outlets.

Dean Austin is the Chief of the Electrical Division with the Bureau of Construction Codes Electrical Division. He says there are ways to protect people from being electrocuted at outlets.

“GFCI protection, ground fault circuit interrupter protection, it trips before the body goes into cardiac arrest. So it’s important to have those installed in the appropriate areas.”

Austin says GFCI protection is typically installed in outlets within 6 feet of a water source. He says they prevent as many as 50 percent of home electrocutions.

He says child-proof outlet protectors are not always so child-proof.

“Temple University did a study and they found out 100 percent of all two to four year olds observed would be able to remove the plastic outlet covers that are inserted into the receptacles to supposedly prevent them from sticking something in there.”

Austin says each year there are some 70 electrocution fatalities associated with consumer products.

More tips to prevent shock or electrocution are at LARA’s website.