MYSTIC, Conn. (WTNH) — CL&P is bringing its warnings about live wires to first responders in southeastern Connecticut.
Sean Martin, safety manager with CL&P, lead a demonstration telling fire and police, “Electricity always wants to find all paths to ground.”
The CL&P workers wore protective gear to show the effects of coming in contact with a live wire carrying 7,600 volts, enough electricity to power five homes and enough to cause major damage if you lean a ladder against the live wire or it comes in contact with a tree.
Each demonstration created a spark and smoke. You could also see an arc of electricity going between the live wire and the object once it was pulled away. Perhaps the most telling demonstration was when a hot dog was pressed against a fence below the live wire.
It basically shows what happens if a person touched that same fence. The blackened inside of the hot dog shows where the current flowed right through it.
Dion Dowling, a CL&P Line Foreman says, “The inside of their body gets more damaged than the outside and that’s very unfortunate because they often don’t survive that.”
Those who improperly hook up generators during an outage, sometimes by plugging it into an outlet, can re-electrify a downed wire. That puts crews working on the wires in danger. “You’re basically putting everyone in your neighborhood in jeopardy their life is in jeopardy,” says Dowling.
Sean Martin warns, “Stay away from wire, a minimum of 10 feet.” These are warnings the first responders want to share with their crews before the next emergency. Chief Kenneth Richards with the Old Mystic Fire department says, “You can talk all you want but when people actually visually see what can happen, it’s well worth it.”
Sean Martin says if you see a power line come down stay away and call CL&P or your power company.