Electrical burns can occur for a variety of reasons, including lightning. The majority of electrical burns, however, happen as a result of faulty electrical products or wiring.
Electrical failures can cause four different types of burns: electrical arcs, flames, flashes, and direct contact. Each of these forms of burns can be very dangerous. Electrical arcs can injure a person even if they are not in close proximity to the burn or electrical explosion, because the electricity jumps from the power source to the body. Flames transfer the fire to an ignited item of clothing or fabric, which, if flammable, can be extremely dangerous to the victim. Flashes are thermal burns that occur without any direct electrical contact, so they also pose a danger to people who are near, but not directly touching, electrical bursts. Direct contact transfers the electrical current from the burst through the entire body, and can thus cause damage to multiple parts or the entire body.
If you or a family member has been a victim of an electrical burn, investigate the safety of the products or wiring involved. Even if you don’t believe that immediate physical injuries have occurred, it is worth seeking the help of a medical professional, since burn injuries can be sustained emotionally or psychologically as well.