We experience electric shock sometimes and it is usually a result of violation of electric safety rules. Let us look at some of the common violation.
Not Earthing or Grounding an Appliance
Electrical appliances which are not grounded or earthed can be a safety issue. You may be electrocuted or may experience electric shock if the current passed from the live wire to other parts of the appliances. When electrical appliances are earthed, they should come with a 3-pin plug. However, with 3-pin plug, it does not mean that the appliances are properly grounded. Some electrically appliances come with 2-pin plug but has double insulation to minimize the risk of electric shock. However, all it takes is a wet hand and connection between you, the water and current to get you into an electric shock. As such, try and buy electrical appliances with 3-pin plug (i.e. grounded). If you need to use electrical appliances with 2-pin plug, make sure your hands are not wet and you are not handling it in a wet environment.
Incorrect Wiring or Reversed Polarity
When Live and Neutral is mixed up or reversed, it is called reversed polarity.
When reversed polarity occurs in the electrical socket, the electrical appliance plugged into the socket should still works. As such, the reversed polarity problem might not be discovered. However, it may damage the electrical appliance and it is a potential electric shock hazard. When you switch off the socket with reversed polarity, the neutral wire is shut down instead of the live wire. This means that there is always electric current flowing to the appliance even when the socket is switched off (as long as the plug is attached to the socket). If the appliance is not well insulated, the current may flow to you and you may get a shock. A good example is a toaster. When you come in contact with the metallic toaster or the heating element of the toaster (which is connected to the plug attached to the reversed polarity socket), the current may pass through you and give you a shock.
There are plug-in device which can trouble-shoot reversed polarity issue. If such issue exists, we recommend that you seek help from an electrician to resolve or fix it. It should be an easy repair job for an experienced electrician.
Outdoor Electric Socket
For outdoor electric socket, it is important that you install good quality water-resistant or weather-resistant socket. Sometimes they are called Outdoor Receptacle Cover for Electric Socket.
Overload Electric Wire Extension Cord
Frequently we plug our extension cord to an electric socket and started attaching the extension cord with many electrical appliances. This may result in overloading of the extension cord and trip your main circuit board or cause fire. An experience electrician will ask you to feel the insulated wire of the extension cord. If it becomes hot, it is a sign that there is overloading.
In conclusion, be mindful of the 4 safety issues – Have Proper Grounding, Check for Reverse Polarity, Ensure Appropriate Outdoor Socket and Avoid Overloading of Extension Cord. If in doubt, always consult an electrician.