Avoid tying your dog's leash or leaning/locking your bike onto a lamppost which may appear intact, even unilluminated, but could possibly be leaking voltage. Non-conductive objects and surfaces, unless salted, are always safer options year-round for you and your dog.
Lamppost poles and their compartments are a possible source of shock as thieves and vandals can easily access the electrical connections at their base.
Pedestrians should be aware that an ajar or missing panel or one with a protuberant plug constitute significant warnings of tampering/risk. When the photo cell is damaged internally, a lamppost compartment can leak voltage ... whether or NOT it is illuminated, even when appearing to be fully intact.
Metal Covers And Plates
Metal on the street or sidewalk can be electrified if deteriorated or improperly installed. Shoddy construction and maintenance can cause the building metal access to become energized if the internal wiring is faulty, poorly maintained, or not in general compliance with building codes. Renovation and ongoing construction sites utilizing temporary wiring can create a higher possibility for a shocking incident.
Other Urban Metal
Ubiquitous metal plates on the streets and sidewalks with decaying wiring may jolt the passerby. Rampant power pilferage, vandalism, wayward construction, or vehicular accidents can leave enlivened areas in their wake.
If you or your pet has encountered contact voltage, Veterinarian and New York Attorney, Richard Novick can answer any questions you may have regarding adequate care, malpractice, animal abuse, and criminal law.
Outdoor Lights Have Bite
While lovely to look at, decorative lighting may over time pose a risk to pedestrians and their pets since its insulation can decay from long-term exposure to temperature change, weather, and even tropical sun.
While it is complicit that proprietors install only outdoor service lighting according to manufacturers' instructions, it behooves businesses to inspect sporadically their lights to determine whether their wiring has become deteriorated; that replacement lamps are truly secure in their sockets; and that all sockets, plugs, and other connectors are sufficiently insulated against immersion from rain or snow to safeguard against shock hazards to the general public.
Not Just The Fees Can Hurt
Automated entrances and vestibules can become enlivened especially when wet.
"I wear rubber-soled shoes"
All footwear provides some insulation, but none guarantees protection.
Open-toed shoes and sandals provide the least safety.
While shoes offer a protective barrier and rubber provides a greater likelihood of voltage deflection than leather or other permeable materials, none precludes shocking.
The only guaranteed insulation may be found in specialty shoes constructed to insure a greater buffer, but even power workers sporadically inspect their shoes for surety.
"My dog won't bite me"
He (the dog) "bit" me the whole time, probably believing I was causing the pain ... now a bit timid towards me. I now have some burns in my arm pits, a sore shoulder and arm, and continuing headaches. PLEASE BE CAREFUL!!!!! Read The Episode.
"I have a female dog"
Wet weather can produce a hazard for any pooch, however, male dogs may be particularly at risk when they lift their leg to spray the metal bases of lampposts or other upright electrical street fixtures creating a ready conduction path for stray current. A far safer option is always to elude outdoor electrical equipment including plates and manholes on streets and sidewalks when possible since if deteriorated all may leak voltage. The greatest risk to your dog typically occurs when leakage and moisture are concomittant.
"I may die from stepping or leaning on a hot spot"
In all likelihood, no, unless the Pedestrian completes the electrical circuit by touching a charged return path, which may be another metal surface or even wet or dry concrete.
Contact with freestanding non-conductive surfaces (Conductive vs Non-Conductive), unless salted are always safer options.
"I thought only dogs were at risk"
On average, 30 human fatalities a year.
Why Dog Booties Get The Boot
Dog booties may become saturated and will not protect your pooch. In fact, canine shoes may actually INCREASE THE CHANCE OF A SHOCKING if water logged. A person can complain of leaky boots, a dog can't!
Further, the dog booties safety issue is beyond the claim of being "waterproof" as any electrical surety would also require durability and resistance to punctures which would permit liquids to permeate their composition. The lining may or may not hold water, and without lab testing, it is disingenous to suggest impermeability.
Further, even after testing, the boots must be checked constantly for damage. Every time an electrical lineman puts on gloves, the technician folds them to trap air and then squeezes the fingers to see if, in fact, any air escapes. If they do, then there is a hole somewhere and the gloves are discarded. And if electricians vouchsafe their accessories, then the walker must also do so for the vulnerable dog.
Washing a dogs' paws with warm water once indoors and after exposure to deicers or merely staying indoors with restroom products, pads, or even just newspapers are better alternatives than the false security of canine shoes.
Please note that at present, booties' materials and recommended Musher's Wax, merely shield against conventional externals: cold, moisture, and rock salt.
Booties that protect against voltage are still a 'concept' rather than a practical option. Any 'safe' product will require much research and development before they can insulate any pooch. Even if waterproof and with sturdy linings, what happens to the booties with rigorous usage portends the greatest risk to any dog.