[kag] Geocaching Electrical Safety (fwd)
- From: Hoover <mlehotay@xxxxxxx>
- To: kag@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2006 00:50:58 -0400 (EDT)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2006 13:15:47 -0600
From: "Connors, John" <jconnors@xxxxxxxx>
Subject: Geocaching Electrical Safety
Dangers of Geocaching in and around Electrical Equipment (2006)
I've been geocaching for about a year now. I have found many creative
types of geocaches. This is what makes it fun and challenging. Lately I've
been concerned about the amount of geocaches that are hidden in and around
I am a Safety Coordinator for a Power Utility here in Alberta. It is my
job to look out for the men and women who work on our electrical lines and
equipment. It's also my job to look out for the general public. One of my
job tasks that I really enjoy is teaching kids at schools electrical
safety smarts. I'll go to elementary schools throughout the year to
present a safety cartoon and explain in detail the indoor and outdoor
electrical hazards that exist. I explain real life examples of people
getting hurt really bad and death due to electricity. I show them what
dangerous wires, boxes and other equipment looks like. I teach them to
stay away from all electrical lines and equipment and not to play on guard
rails that sometimes protect the high voltage electrical equipment.
I am asking all parents and kids not to geocache around any electrical
equipment. This is power poles, electrical boxes that are in your yard or
power boxes in some other location.
Please let me explain my concerns.
I want you to remember two very important characteristics of electricity.
1. Electricity always wants to go back to the ground.
2. Electricity is lazy. It will take shortcuts to get to the ground. That
could be a ladder touching a overhead power line or a geocacher touching
the side of a damaged electrical box.
Cars hit these types of boxes all the time and sometimes there are no
visible signs of damage. Inside there may be wires loose that come undone
due to impact and cause the area to be energized. (Step Potential/Ground
being electrified) Also, the cabinet may become energized and when you
touch the cabinet the electricity will pass through you to get to the
ground.(Touch Potential) In North America we have had fatalities due to
Step & Touch Potential. There is no second chance.
Sometimes equipment just fails. The insulating factors that protect the
public may fail due to age and possibly energize the box.
The City of Edmonton transformers have a voltage of 13,800. That's over
100 times the voltage in your wall that you may use when you plug in a
toaster. Imagine that going through you. Just don't take the chance.
I am asking in behalf as a Safety Professional and Geocacher please not to
hide caches on or around electrical equipment and not to even look for a
cache that may be on or around any electrical equipment. If you believe
that it is in a hazardous zone please contact the person who placed the
geocache. If that is not a successful route please contact the person who
approved it. Most of the time the approver of a geocache is not aware that
it is in a dangerous zone. Let's look out for each other.
Thank you for listening to my concerns and play safe,
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