Electrical Burns

Electrical burns are a type of burn caused by contact with electricity. Always ensure your own safety before turning off a power source.


The same 4-step process for all burns remains with a few additional considerations for electrical burns.



Ensure your own safety and turn off power at the source 

Call 000 if there is a loss of consciousness or if a person is thrown 

Place in spinal precautions and prioritise any life-threatening needs 



Cool for 20 minutes with cool running water. This can still be done up to 3 hours after injury.  

*Remove jewellery, rings, watches 



Cover the patient to keep them warm.  

Cover the burn using a dry dressing or clingwrap.  

*DO NOT wrap of fix any dressings circumferentially 



Seek help.

Call 000 or present to your nearest emergency department if the following applies:

  • Burns of special areas – face, hands, feet, genitalia, perineum, major Joints and circumferential limb or chest burns 
  • Burns with potential inhalation injury 
  • Electrical burns 
  • Chemical burns 
  • Burns with pre-existing illness 
  • Burns associated with other injuries 
  • Burns at the extremes of age – young children and the elderly. 
  • Burn injury in pregnant women 
  • Non-accidental burns 
  • If you are concerned  
  • Pain not managed with simple over the counter analgesia  
  • Available dressings unable to contain and cover injury

When to call a doctor?  

Most minor burns can be treated with first-aid, however, if the burn is severe you will need to seek medical help or call 000.  

If the burn is deep you may want to follow up with your GP to see if you need further care or an updated tetanus shot.