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Preventing Shocks

There’s No Such Thing as a Safe Shock — Here’s What You Can Do to Prevent One

The majority of Ontarians say they’ve received a shock. And although people may brush off a little zap from a toaster or a buzz from an outlet, research shows that even low-voltage shocks can have serious long-term after effects like memory loss, anxiety and pins and needles.

Ever wondered what happens to your body when you receive a shock? Watch this quick video to find out! 

Kids are especially curious and are natural explorers who get their hands on everything. This puts them at risk for shock. On average, more than 110 kids under 15 end up in the emergency department each year in Ontario because of an electrical injury. More than half are under the age of five.

But the good news: all electrical shocks are preventable.

7 simple fixes you can do to make your home a safe-zone for you and your kids:

  1. If your outlet has a missing or broken cover plate, replace it immediately. Outlet covers create a barrier between people and exposed wires.
  2. Install tamper-resistant (TR) receptacles to protect younger children from shocks. They have special shutters that cover the plug slots and help prevent little fingers or objects from going into the outlet.
  3. Small kids often want to explore new things by putting them in their mouths.  Keep cords away from little hands and mouths.
  4. Teach older children how to plug in and unplug safely. Never overload outlets by plugging in too many cords. Use an approved power bar that has surge protection instead. When it’s time to unplug, don’t yank cords from the wall. This can damage the appliance, the cord and the outlet.
  5. Check all of your cords. If a cord is frayed, replace it. Tape won’t protect anyone from a shock. Extension cords – which should only be used temporarily – are prone to cracking and fraying, which can lead to a shock or fire.
  6. Water and electricity can be a lethal mix. Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) – the ones with the reset button – in any room with water (i.e. bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms) to help protect from a shock.
  7. If you have electrical work that needs to be done in your home, hire only a Licensed Electrical Contractor for the work.

If you or someone you know receives a shock, seek medical attention.



Download our colouring book for a fun way to start conversations with your kids about why there is no such thing as a safe shock.

Stay Safe Around Electricity: An activity and colouring book

Learn more about the effects of electrical shock and how you can create a safe home for you and your kids.

Fact Sheet

Use ESA’s checklist to make simple fixes in your home to help prevent electrical shock.


Did you know more than 110 kids in Ontario go to the emergency department each year because of an electrical injury? Read all of the key stats regarding electrical shock in Ontario. 


Not all outlets are created equal. In fact, there are different types of outlets (also known as receptacles) required for different electrical needs and spaces. See the three receptacles you should know about

Testing Your Outlet IQ