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Why People get electrocuted: Causes of Electric Shock

Updated on April 13, 2015
The picture illustrates the causes of electric shock in both homes and industries. It is designed with electric spark.
The picture illustrates the causes of electric shock in both homes and industries. It is designed with electric spark. | Source


Electric shock is a very bad occurrence and its nature can lead the victim to death. There are many reasons why people get electrocuted. Electrocution can take place in homes, offices, companies, organizations and in many other places. In this piece of write-up, we will be discussing on why people are being shocked by electricity. More importantly, we will pay serious attention on the electric shock in homes and industries. The reason is because many lives have been lost in homes and industries due to electrocution. In some cases, mothers, fathers, children, and even house-helps are being shocked to death.

Before further explanation on this topic, let us define the principal keywords. What is electricity? According to Concise Oxford English Dictionary, electricity is defined as the supply of electric current to a building for heating, lighting, e.t.c. Electrocution on the other hand is defined as being injured or killed by electric shock. So, electrocution can kill the victim or injure him.

News and statistics have shown that many lives have been lost through electric shocks. According to The Guardian News report on November 2014, a Brisbane man (Australia) dies after electric shock while attempting graffiti at railway yard. This was really a sad incidence because the 26 –year-old man suffered burns all over his body before he died.

According to Mirror News report on Jan 2, 2015, an electrocution incidence occurred in a building. Because of the electrocution being sustained by the man in London which resulted to his death, about 100 people who were living in the flat were forced to leave the building because it was covered by fumes.

In the second most populated country of the world, India, an electric shock on a citizen was reported by news publication companies. The tragic incidence is heart-breaking because the victim met his forefathers when he was at the ATM booth. Who knows if the man was there to withdraw the money he needed for bright-day enjoyment. Quoting the report by NDTV news, “A 35-year old man was electrocuted while entering an ATM kiosk in Holambi Kalan of outer Delhi this morning”. In India, many citizens have been treated badly by electricity shock, some who survived the incidence while others did not.

Causes or Reasons why people are being electrocuted

There are many reasons why people all over the world experience the test by electricity shock. Among the reasons why people are being shocked by electricity are as follows:

  • Carelessness of the people;
  • Illegal electrical connection;
  • Poor handling of electrical devices;
  • Ignoring Safety Precautions; and
  • Inadequate use of manuals.

Careless handling of electricity is among the causes of electric shock. Do not handle electricity carelessly.
Careless handling of electricity is among the causes of electric shock. Do not handle electricity carelessly. | Source

Carelessness of the People

Many people whom have been shocked by electricity when properly traced are due to their carelessness. Imagine a situation whereby a father in a home knows that electrical devices in his home are to be coated with insulators to save his life as well as the lives of his children and wife; yet he does not care about it. Out of mistake, he may step on it and become electrocuted which sometimes result to death. This is one of the major causes of electrical shock in homes.

In some families, the kids are shocked by electricity because the parents do not take proper care of them. The kids while playing get in contact with wire which electrical current flows through. In the process of trying to bite the wire which has current flowing through, they get electrocuted sometimes on their tongue. If the kid is able of to succeed the shock depending on the magnitude of the electrical current that flows, its symbol is usually black spot on the tongue. In some cases, any part of the kid’s body might start malfunctioning due to the negative impact of the electricity.

A discussion with a friend who was shocked by electricity has this to say as the reason why he was shocked: “when I was mobbing the house, I got close to the fan and got shocked a little by electricity. I left that place and decided not to get to that side again for that moment. Later, I decided to go and switch off the fan and in the process of getting close to that side got seriously shocked by the electricity to the extent I could not move. I stood still and the electricity was drying me gradually at that point and I could not talk. I was seeing myself as a dead man until my sister came out from her room and noticed what was going on and went to the control switch and switch off the electricity. I was rushed to the hospital and today I am still alive”.

The electrical shock experienced by this friend of mine is due to his carelessness. Had it been that he switched off the electricity from the main source before he went ahead to off the fan due to the fact that he was shocked before in that area when he was mobbing, it would not have happened to him seriously the second time. All must be careful and avoid this cause of electrical shock in homes.

Illegal Electrical Connection

Illegal connection is one of the reasons why people get shocked by electricity. It is a sad incidence to hear that illegal connections in various places have resulted to wastage of various lives in industries and homes. So many people due to poverty and other social challenges have been compelled to hire unqualified workers to make connections in their homes for them to save money. After the connections made by these technicians, they are usually to the detriment of the occupants of the house owners and users. In some unlucky days, occupants of poorly electrically connected houses get electrocuted which in most cases leads to death.

Never you in anyway risk your life because you want to save money. It is an advice you have to take as many people have gone because of illegal connections in their homes. When you want to hire an electrician or engineer to electrically wire any building, make sure that the person in question is a certified one and can handle the connection properly so that no occupant of the building will be electrocuted in the future use. Avoid illegal connection as one of the major causes of electrocution in industries and homes to prevent the story that touch.

Poor Handling of Electrical Devices

Electricity is good and at the same time can be disastrous. If you do not handle it well, the result becomes disastrous but when you handle it properly, the outcome is usually good and enjoyment.

Imagine a situation whereby a laptop user plug the adapter of his laptop to the source, and because of improper handling use his lips to hold the other metallic end so that he can bring out the laptop from the bag. What do you think will happen to the person? The only option left for him is to experience the shock of electricity. The instance is used because the author of this topic has experienced that before. So, in a nutshell, poor handling of electrical devices is one of the reasons why people are being shocked by electricity. Be wise and careful so that you do not get shocked by electricity as a result of improper handling of the devices.

Ignoring Safety Precautions

Another reason why many people get shocked by electricity is ignorance of safety precautions that they need to take into considerations. Many because they think they are smart have lost their lives to electricity because they ignored electrical safety precautions before they went into practice. Safety precautions as related to electricity must be properly understood and practiced to avoid electrical shocks.

According to a news report, an electrician whose name is Steven Snyder died in the year 2010 at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at a transformer. When this news is critically examined, among the things that might lead to the death of this man may be poor adherence to safety precautions.

In so many industries of the world, Nigeria, Algeria, Germany, United States, Canada and in many other places, some parts of the bodies of industrial workers have been paralyzed as a result of the injury they sustained from electrocution. Before working in industries that involves the use of electricity, all workers are to observe and practice safety precautions so that they will not be electrocuted in the process.

Ignorance of manual used to buy electrical devices as one of the major reasons why people get electrocuted.
Ignorance of manual used to buy electrical devices as one of the major reasons why people get electrocuted. | Source

Inadequate use of manuals

In many countries of the world, the citizens are quick in making use of electronics and electrical devices without considering going through the manuals of those devices. In Nigeria, it is a common thing as some citizens who bought electronic devices see it as a waste of time for them to go and start reading the manual to understand the dos and the don’ts as concerned the products they purchased.

Because of this, many electronics users in various homes get electrocuted when they want to make connections or setup their devices. The manuals which come together with electrical and electronic products are not just for fancy and because of that should not be ignored. If you do not take time to study the manual which came with the electronics product you have, you may not only get electrocuted, but you at the same time may damage the product which you spent your money to purchase.


In this topic, discussed are the reasons why people get electrocuted while handling electrical devices or products. The causes of electrical shock as discussed were sometimes backed up with possible solutions and suggestions on avoiding electrical shock in homes and industries. Hence, the reasons why people get electrocuted as discussed by the author are carelessness of the people, illegal electrical connection, poor handling of electrical device, ignoring Safety Precautions, and inadequate use of manuals.


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