Frequently Asked Questions
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What is the difference between an electric shock and electrocution?
An electrocution results in death. While people survive getting shocked, they may struggle for the rest of their lives with burn scars, seizures, chronic pain, severe headaches, nerve damage, paralyzed limbs, memory loss and other forms of brain damage. Some injuries due to electric shocks also result from falls, as electricity can knock a person unconscious or knock someone several feet through the air.
Electrocutions are relatively rare -- fewer than 100 each year in the United States -- because the electric force, or amps, it takes to kill a person exceeds what most wiring and electronic devices can deliver. Serious electric shock injuries occur frequently. Damaged wires, shoddy construction and poorly constructed power tools are among the most-frequent causes of electric shocks that hospitalize and disable individuals.