Electricity is the lifeblood of modern civilization, and without it, the entire human civilization as we know it would crumble. Unfortunately, it can also become one of the most life-threatening hazards if not maintained properly, irrespective of whether the accident occurs on public or private property. Therefore, being aware of common, potentially dangerous situations related to electricity is the very first step that we can take towards preventing such tragedies around us.
Contact with a Live Wire
This one is, by far, the most common cause for electrocution in a public or private area. There are multiple ways that a person can come into contact with a live wire accidentally, but some of the usual culprits are as follows:
- Poor safety precautions by anyone working with electrical wiring in a domestic/public/commercial area
- Unmaintained, externally compromised light posts with live wires sticking out
- Live wire sticking out of a fallen light pole, and coming in contact with accumulated water after a storm/flood
- Torn overhead, high-tension wires after a storm
- Live wires from fallen electrical/light poles and torn high-tension wires coming in contact with a flammable object
- Poor, ancient and unmaintained electrical wiring in any electrically powered building
- Lack of proper earthing in any building or facility with an active electrical supply
- Lightning strikes near buildings without adequate grounding (earthing)
- A lightning strike near a flammable object
Physical and Electrical Dangers of an Unmaintained Lighting Pole
Street lights, garden poles, lighting poles within large commercial facilities and numerous other types of decorative and utilitarian light poles require regular maintenance. On failing to maintain them properly and regularly, they pose both physical and electrical dangers to anyone around them.
A structurally compromised light pole can fall on top of a car, a person, or an animal causing physical damage, in addition to having a high chance of electrocuting them in the process. Such encounters are often fatal for the victims, and property damage is immense, especially during and after a storm. By having the light posts checked periodically for any kind of damage, it is possible to reduce the chances of such accidents from ever taking place.
Untrained and Unlicensed Electrical Undertakings
A common and avoidable accident often reported involves DIY attempts at fixing/remodeling/installing electricals that the homeowner or someone related to them was not trained and certified to conduct. Contrary to popular belief, it is illegal for an untrained homeowner to try and fix conceivably dangerous electrical problems, or undertake installation of something as complex as an HVAC system without the due knowledge and training. It is advisable that all homeowners learn to handle smaller tasks of home maintenance on their own, but also that they leave more complicated and potentially dangerous electrical work to the trained professionals.
If you live in a storm-prone region of the United States, stay particularly wary of electrical hazards and have everything checked both inside and outside your home for possible vulnerabilities. Reinforcements and timely repairs can save both lives and money.