Sunday, December 31, 2006

Overhead Danger


Overhead Danger, Geocaching Electrical Safety

An Ohio teen was killed December 19, 2006 by not knowing the danger of overhead power lines. He tried to retrieve a dog leash off a power line with a long branch and was electrocuted.

Please stay away from overhead power lines. Electricity in those lines will take any path possible to "go to ground". Don't you be the path.

You should NEVER play around power lines. This includes climbing trees near power lines (the assumption being that a cache may be hidden up off the ground in a tree), throwing any objects into them or flying kites around them. Electricity in those lines are many thousands of volts. Electricity will travel down a kite string, through you to get to the ground.(link)

I conduct demo's for schools and contractors using kite string. We energize a demo board with approximately 4000 volts and place kite sting across the energized demo power line to a grounded point. This kite string burns immediatly from electricity running though it. Please don't use metal laced kite string. Metal laced is used for the extra durability. Metal laced kite string is much more dangerous because in conducts electricity much easier.

We also place tree branches in the demo board.
There are still a lot of people who don't know that electricity will travel across tree branches and wooden 2 by 4's when there's a high enough voltage. Power lines have that dangerous voltage.

If you see an object caught up in a power line please contact your local power utility to have them remove it.

*Also, do you remember the incident regarding the Scouts setting up a tent under power lines? (link)

Years ago, before the safety field, one of my job tasks was to work on power lines (that's me below). It takes years of training and experience, special tools and equipment and a constant respect of this invisable energy to work safely on or around these lines.

Next time you're outdoors setting up equipment, etc... remember this important safety slogan... Look up and live.

Play safe out there,