As anyone who has witnessed a nasty storm can attest, the resulting chaos can be pretty scary. Once the winds and the rain and the snow have stopped… the danger is not over. Downed power lines are a serious threat, as are water-damaged wires. In today’s post, we’ll discuss staying safe from downed power lines and other electrical hazards.
Shocking: Understanding the Danger of Live Wires
This topic may not seem connected to pool safety, but it easily can be. We’ve written an entire article about the dangers of electrocution in the pool. Much like drowning, electrocution is silent. It happens quickly and the victim is unlikely to even utter a sound. Also, just like drowning, trying to save the victim by simply grabbing them can be dangerous for the would-be-rescuer.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, people should be careful when it comes to faulty grounding for washers, vacuums and sump pumps. After a powerful storm, this can also lead to downed power lines, which is a terrible hazard that could be simply lying on the sidewalk.
Keep an Eye Out
The most important way to stay safe from downed power lines is to think and be observant. If a wire is lying on the ground, always assume it is live. Give it an extremely wide berth. After all, getting close can be deadly.
Dangers of Water Damaged Wires and Downed Power Lines
Electrocution, by its very nature, is deadly. This term refers to a fatality that is caused by electric shock. There is also, of course, the danger of exposed or faulty wiring, which can cause electro shock drowning. In a single moment, a person who comes into contact with a downed power line can be in serious danger.
Beyond personal injuries, damaged wiring can also pose a risk for fire. Beyond power lines lying on the street, there are other ways for wire to be exposed. For instance, holiday lighting. Bottom line, if a wire is exposed, touching it can be deadly.
What’s more, the wire can accidentally catch fire and set an entire building aflame. To a lesser but still quite valid extent, it can cause costly damage to home appliances or even an entire home’s wiring.
On the whole, whether it’s a downed power line from a storm or just a water-affected wire, the damage can be both costly and fatal. It pays to take care and know the signs of danger when they are present.
If a live wire touches your car, consider yourself lucky. The tires on a vehicle should ground it, meaning you are safe inside the car… but you’re not out of danger yet. That does not apply to the outside of the car. In fact, it could be dangerous to step outside.
In this dangerous situation, be sure to immediately call 9-1-1 for help with your phone. Additionally, beep the horn to warn others and alert them to the danger. Hopefully, a passerby will also call for help. If this fails, crack your window and yell for help. However, you should warn others to keep their distance. Touching the car or surrounding ground can be dangerous.
When to Call a Professional
In your home, any wires that have come into contact with water should be immediately replaced. When it comes to damaged wires, this should be done by a professional. Call an electrician to ensure maximum safety. If you hear any wires “buzzing,” you should immediately assume the worst. It could be deadly to handle the products they’re connected to. Once again, call a professional and keep curious young children far away.
Solar Lights Eliminate a Potential Danger
Taking that last bit into account, it’s best to eliminate potential sources of electrical shock. To this end, we’ve written a full article about the value of solar lights. These economical lights don’t use electricity and are far less hazardous to your health. It’s a small addition to your home that can really help in the long run.