Avoid Street Voltage Shocking & Electrocution

Published on November 17, 2009, 5:44 pm
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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.

We’ve Got The Whole Wide World At Our Feet

 • New Yorkers walk over a staggering 94,000 miles of underground and transmission cables daily.

 • Nearly 1,000 miles of cable span every square mile of New York City.

 • New York City sits atop the world’s longest network which encircles the globe four times.

 • Con Edison’s Electrical Service is rated 100 times more reliable than any other carrier in servicing its 3.2 million electrical customers with a formidable load density per MW/Square Mile that is 10 times Chicago’s, 20 times Los Angeles’, and 30 times Boston’s.

 • Infrastructure deterioration is an international problem, and in spite of the occasional failings, the present nexus is still far safer than the overhead predecessor that caused numerous fatalities during the Blizzard of 1888.

Helpful Hints To Heed This Hidden Hazard

If you are walking your dog close to lampposts or across manhole covers, and service boxes you’re taking a gamble. Learn how to Avoid Possibly Dangerous Street Fixtures.

While we are not suggesting you and your dog become social shut-ins, we want to encourage you to be aware that:

– Street & Traffic Lights can leak if damaged internally, even if the compartment is fully closed and the light is not illuminated

– While wooden blocks anchor Scaffolding or Sidewalk Sheds, be aware that sloppy wiring by a contractor and/or the use of lighting equipment which is not water-proofed or even suitable for outdoor usage, may still shock a passerby.
– ATM Vestibules
– Decorative Lighting
– Dog Booties may increase the risk of a shock
– Electrical Boxes
– Fire Hydrants
– Fire Police Call Boxes
– Manhole Covers
– Muni Meters
– Phone Booths
– Service Boxes
– Street Light Boxes
– Traffic Boxes
– Work Areas
Non-Seasonality Yet An Enhanced Summer And Winter Risk

Shockings occur year-round, but evidence indicates that the most hazardous time is in the winter after snow falls and in the summer after heavy rains. The winter incidents are likely when melted snow mixed with salt-based deicers form a saline solution and conduction path from defective or tampered cables and equipment, usually several days after the snowfall. Summer events usually happen when water builds up or ponds around and infiltrates damaged or defective equipment.

Any outdoor electrical object may be energized year-round.

If you see or know of a hazard, let StreetZaps.com know here!


Jonas Bronck is the pseudonym under which we publish and manage the content and operations of The Bronx Daily.™ | Bronx.com - the largest daily news publication in the borough of "the" Bronx with over 1.5 million annual readers. Publishing under the alias Jonas Bronck is our humble way of paying tribute to the person, whose name lives on in the name of our beloved borough.