BESCOM  awareness – Deaths due to electric shock

BESCOM awareness – Deaths due to electric shock

BESCOM is in awareness mode as the number of deaths are increasing due to electrocution in the city of Bengaluru.  Accidental electrocution continues to be a significant cause of death.

The number of electrical accidents that have been reported in Bengaluru in the past weeks, we see a higher number of electrical accidents in the last four years.

Illegal buildings, official apathy and negligence of people cause maximum deaths.

Electric shock :

Electrical shock occurs when a person touches any electrically charged object while at the same time touching another surface that can conduct the electricity to the ground.

Common sources of electrical shock are bare and damaged wires, machinery and tools, and extension cords. Proper grounding and electrical safety devices can help prevent electrical shock.

Death due to electrocution :

According to the data shared by Bescom there have been a total of 509 deaths due to electric shocks.

While citizens in Bengaluru face issues with dangling cables all around, the number of deaths caused to this carelessness suggests the issue is of prime importance. Be it optical fibre cables or live electric wires, recent incidents generate fear and panic among pedestrians and others alike.

Electrocution :

Electrocution is death caused by electric shock, electric current passing through the body. The word is derived from “electro” and “execution”, but it is also used for accidental death.

The health hazard of an electric current flowing through the body depends on the amount of current and the length of time for which it flows, not merely on the voltage.  However, a high voltage is required to produce a high current through the body.

This is due to the relatively high resistance of skin when dry, requiring a high voltage to pass through. The severity of a shock also depends on whether the path of the current includes a vital organ.

Statistics of electrocution death :

BESCOM data further indicates that 14 other deaths have taken place other than this already this year. While 283 deaths took place in 2015-16, the same was 235 for 2016-17. The death toll raised to 239 and then to 283 in 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively. However, BESCOM states that 367 of these in total occurred due to the victim’s fault.

Residents welfare associations involved :

Residents associations and associations in apartments and have also been  asked to get involved in conducting workshops in coordination with local Bescom officials on safety measures to be observed in their residential complexes.

Causes of electrocution :

The causes of electrocution are numerous. Burgeoning population, unauthorized constructions and official apathy caused 500 deaths due to electrocution over a period of just four years.

Sometimes people construct high rise buildings without taking permission from the concerned authority.  Unauthorized buildings invariably land up very close to live electrical wires which render especially women and children vulnerable to electrocution.

All these electrocution cases were registered in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM).

Technical and behavioural issues :

There are two issues. They are the technical as well as behavioural issues which lead to electrocution cases.

Technical issues pertaining to live wires lying on the ground, improper insulation of electric wires, and transformers taking heavy load; while on the behavioural front it is mostly children and unsuspecting people who are vulnerable to getting electrocuted.

The children get in contact with live electric wire while playing on terraces or hear electric poles.  Women get come close to live wire while drying clothes.

Scary past incidents :
  • May 2019 : Eight-month-old boy electrocuted while playing in a shed in Kodihalli
  • April 2019: Nine-year-old-boy injured after coming in contact with a live wire in Mahalakshmi Layout
  • April 2019: Thirteen-year-old boy electrocuted at Jeevan Bima Nagar as he tries to pluck a mango from a tree
  • February 2019: Seven-year-old-boy electrocuted while playing in a park in Banaswadi

All these deaths would have been avoided if the BESCOM had taken strict action on those who violated the law. 

Awareness  by Bescom :

Bescom has now also started creating awareness against electric shocks through ignorance by circulating pamphlets on social media and distribution of pamphlets by Bescom officials in various areas.

On May 20, Bescom put up a pamphlet on its social media pages titled, ‘Safety of your life is our priority’ and shared tips for people to avoid electric shocks.

Prevention :

Many people do not recognize electrocution hazards until it is too late. Farm workers, children and family members should learn about common electrical dangers, know what safety precautions to take, and know how to react in case of electrical emergency.

Plug into safety :

Always observe safety measures. The Dos and Don’ts are given below :

Dos :

  1. Educate children regarding electric safety and to be away from Electrical wires.
  2. Always ensure that the plug socket is out of reach of children
  3. Use 3 pin plug sockets and ensure that the third point is earthed
  4. Get wiring work done through a Government Licensed Electrical Contractor
  5. Ensure that installation is provided with suitable grounding/earthing
  6. Always use ISI certified Appliances, Wires and Cables
  7. Check Electric gadgets regularly for Safety
  8. Get Gadgets repaired by authorized electricians only.

Don’ts :

  1. Do not construct buildings close to electrical wires
  2. Do not touch snapped electrical wires/un-insulated wires Call 1912 immediately
  3. Do not operate electrical switches / equipment with wet hands
  4. Do not tie banners or publicity material to electricity poles
  5. Do Not use guy wires tied to a pole for drying clothes
  6. Don’t climb electric poles
  7. Do not cut trees/branches near the overhead lines
  8. Do not cut trees/branches near the overhead lines
  9. Do not try to remove or chop trees fallen on electrical lines
  10. Do not Energize fences
  11. Do not take un-authorized connections from BESCOM lines.

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