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T&TEC: Practise safety

Boy suffers electrical shock

By \\\\\ Carolyn Kissoon carolyn.kissoon@trinidadexpress.com

Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) corporate communications manager, Annabelle Brasnell, has advised citizens to exercise caution and follow electrical safety rules indoors and outdoors.
She urged caution as investigations continue into an incident involving 12-year-old Nyme Andrews, who suffered an electric shock at his home on Saturday.
Andrews, of Southern Main Road, Rousillac, was being treated yesterday at the Southern Medical Clinic, San Fernando, for injuries.
His mother, Naila Stephen, said her son was undergoing a series of tests to determine whether any of his organs were affected by the shock. He suffered burns to the toes.
Andrews, a fifth standard pupil, was hanging out a wet rug on a metal railing at his home when he suffered an electrical shock. Stephens was also shocked when she rushed to her son’s assistance.
Stephen explained that the railing became electrified by a Telecommunication Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) cable which was in contact with an overhead T&TEC low voltage wire. The TSTT cable was leaning against the railing.
An electrical engineer told the Express basic precautions should be taken to ensure the electric shock does not interfere with the body’s normal electrical impulses including the functions of the brain and the heart.
The Express was told that in the event of someone suffering an electrical shock, people should not rush to assist the victim until he/she is no longer in contact with electricity. “If the victim is still in contact with the electricity, the current will pass through the victim directly to you,” the Express was told.
The electrical engineer said a non-conductive material including plastic or wood should be used to move the victim away from the source of electricity.
T&TEC’s website also issued warnings to help ensure people enjoy the benefits of electricity without the threat to loss of life in the home or out-of-doors.

Safety tips

\\ In the home
Be sure your house is wired to carry the voltage of all your electrical household appliances
- Enquire as to how many appliances can be in use simultaneously and follow the guidelines
-Avoid putting too many plugs into one outlet
-Always disconnect appliances not in use, or being repaired
-Eliminate overloaded outlets
-Make sure all appliances are operating within the stipulated guidelines
-In the event of malfunctioning of appliances or any sign of electrical fire, turn off the main circuit
-Never touch appliances or wires with wet hands or feet
-Never use wet appliances
-Unplug all electrical appliances before attempting to repair them
-Never use radios, hair dryers or any electrical appliances in the shower or near a bath tub or pool
-Always disconnect an appliance by pulling the plug, not by tugging the cord
-Never run extension cords under rugs or furniture
-Turn off direct power supply before replacing burnt-out bulbs
-Always match bulbs with correct voltage
-Switch off all appliances not in use when leaving home
-Train children not to put things into electrical outlets. Plastic outlet guards are a good idea
-Check wires, extension cords and appliances regularly for signs of wear
-Use power tools with three-pronged plugs

\\ Out of doors
-Keep ladders, kites and TV antennas away from power lines
-Don’t play or stand near electrical structures such as utility poles, substations, metres, transformers or guy wires
-Never prune or cut down a tree near a power line.
-Teach children to stay clear of all electrical installations
-Use only electrical equipment designed for outside use
-Use ground fault circuit interrupters on all plugs located outdoors.
-If you see a fallen power line, call the electric company. Warn others away
-If you have an underground electrical service, before digging identify overhead and underground power lines.
-Call before you dig. You could hit a buried cable, conduit or gas pipeline and run the risk of loss of life or damage to property.
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