Monday, March 7, 2011

Look Up stay safe

The 120/240 volt 3 wire power feed to your home
Is not insulated
It can shock and kill you!

There is a very bad misconception that the 3 wires feeding power to your home or building are insulated and while they may have a very thin coating of plastic type insulation over them they are not to be considered insulated and if bumped into with a metal ladder or object shock and electrocution can and does happen.
Many siding and roofing contractors every year end up hospitalized or dead for not following safety rules around this 120/240 volt wiring. If you are working with ladders etc with in 20 ft of the wire you must call the local utility to either put protective sleeves over the wire or temporarily move or disconnect it .The 120/240 volt wiring is also not protected by conventional over current protection the only over current protection is a fuse at the transformer and if you think your screwdriver or ladder for that matter is enough to make the fuse trip at the pole should you make contact between the wires think again. This is why responsible contractors who work near wires use fiberglass ladders and call for sheaving when working with metal staging near energized wires.
When the triplex wiring is brand new you may well be able to bump into it and get away unhurt but as the wire ages it can and does start to deteriorate and with older wires i have seen complete sections of insulation missing along with tape etc used on the taps completely gone. Many contractors and home owners get into trouble when setting up ladders and staging because they do not properly figure the height of the object they are setting up and amount of distance from the wires the object gets away from them and slides or falls into the wiring. This is why it is critical to know the height of the object you are setting up and height of the wires If you are not sure call your local utility company who will be able to tell you over the phone or send out a foreman or line crew to determine you are operating safely .Your local utility company also has plenty of safety materials they can send out along with following OSHA guidelines as well if you are a contractor. Either way look up and be careful when working around wiring outside.

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