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Reduce Your Risk of Outdoor
Shocks or Electrocution

StreetZaps.com is a non-partisan initiative organized and led by Blair Sorrel to reduce the year round risk of injury and fatality from contact voltage shocking or electrocution resulting from damaged or tampered wiring.

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Contact Voltage Information

2010 Contact Voltage Test And Facility Inspection Annual Report

Consolidated Edison Company Of New York, Inc., February 15, 2011

Report on the results of contact voltage tests and facility inspections for the period beginning January 1, 2010 and ending on December 31, 2010.  Read the Full Report.

Myth Busters Finally Get Busted

So Myth Busters doesn't believe that saline solutions increase conductivity?  They should go back to the basic 5th grade experiment with a battery and salt water!  Or what about the saline paste used for taking EEG readings in a medical office?  Then again, Myth Busters have always focused on the comedic rather than the realistic.

Let's consider the show some years ago that attempted to prove that urinating on a high tension line such as a third rail would not be harmful.  In that winner, they employed a fluorescent light ballast to simulate the power source.  In reality such a ballast uses high voltage alternating current to ignite the arc inside the tube.  By contrast, a third rail supplies direct current at very high current levels to propel trains weighing on average 400 tons unloaded.  High voltage is not inherently dangerous, it is the high current that creates tissue damage, more so where direct current is involved because of the electrochemical effects on the body.  The difference between high voltage and high current is understandable by a 7th grade science student but apparently such facts never are allowed to interfere with a good show.

Moreover, the issues of stray current and water, especially saline, are well known.  Electrical utilities with underground lines have strict rules as to the maximum time that supply cables can be de-energized and then reloaded without an insulation test.  The concern is moisture infiltration when the unloaded cables cool, a concern that peaks when saline slush infiltrates electric cable ducts after snow melts. Furthermore, contact voltage incidents occur irrespective of salinity or even external conditions. While electrocutions are fortunately rare,¬† no doubt, people have experienced minor incidents, especially in the tingle or nuisance electrical range, and simply shrugged them off or failed to understand them.

In another example, some years ago frequent track fires were noted in the railroad tunnel under Park Avenue in New York City, particularly several days after heavy snows.  The culprit was saline drippings from the street above that compromised porcelain third rail insulators and allowed a ground path through the steel brackets that supported the under-running type third rail used there.  Those stray voltage paths ignited subsequently the wood track ties on which grease inevitably accumulates.  The solution was the replacement of the brackets with non-conductive fiberglass mounts.

Every one of the previous examples involves some sort of saline solution that enhanced the conductivity of a particular device or line.  No matter what the type of salt - the very term "salt" implies an ionic bond of a metal and non-metal, chlorine, which in water dissolves to form ions which are inherently electrically conductive by their very nature.  While it may be expecting too much for the writers to read up on Basic Chemistry 101 or Intro Physics 101 - if they are claiming to represent facts then an electrical engineer or, at the very least, a grade school science teacher should be interviewed to acquaint the writers with technological and scientific reality.

Hawaii Discovers The Risk Of Stray Voltage Is Common

Gene Park, www.starbulletin.com, February 20, 2009

Mark Voigtsberger discusses how the electrocution of a Hawaiian Man is 'almost identical' to electrocutions that have occurred in other cities around the country.  Read the Full Report.

Killing Fields

By Electrical Safety Authority, Canada, August 1, 2008

The Canadian Government has issued a warning about the electrical hazards at ball fields.  This Bulletin has valid points for American sports complexes as well.  Read the Bulletin.

Analysis Of Public Shock And Electrocution Cases

Mark Voigtsberger's Report is regarded as the benchmark of electrical organizations and regulators. Florida's preponderance of voltage episodes are attributable to a year-round¬† barefoot or sandals-clad outdoor lifestyle coupled with poor grounding conditions, soil salinity, humidity, and coastal disturbance.  Read the Full Report.

For more information on Southern Cross Power Field Services, contact Mark Voigtsberger at: (770) 441-0403 or mvoigtsberger@southerncrosscorp.com

Clearing Up Confusion On Unwanted Voltages

Electrical professionals are working to define universal definitions, testing, and mitigation techniques for stray and contact voltages.  Read the Full Article.