As technology improves, electrocution hazards can pose a danger to do-it-yourselfers. With satellite dishes, cable TV, cellular phones, and the Internet replacing traditional TV, radio, and CB systems, homeowners are heading to their roofs to install dishes or take down out-of-use antennas. However, without proper electrical safety precautions, the results can be deadly.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reminding home owners of the serious electrocution hazard when ladders or antennas touch high-voltage, overhead power lines. Keep in mind these electrical safety precautions when approaching hazardous power lines:
- Keep all objects, including masts, poles, ladders, tools and toys, far away from power lines at all times.
- If you are taking down or moving an antenna, be aware of new power lines that have been put up since the antenna was first installed.
- Never assume that an overhead power line is electrically insulated; always assume that contact with any line can be lethal.
- Position non-metal ladders (such as fiberglass) at a height and location that prevents the possibility of you or it contacting a power line.
- Keep the distance from an antenna or pole to the power line at least one-and-one half times the height of the antenna or pole.
- Properly ground all masts in accordance with electrical codes.
- Be aware that you can be electrocuted by touching a power line directly or by touching a conductive material (such as a metal ladder, antenna, pipe, kite) and, at the same time, the earth or any grounded item (such as metal siding or a downspout).
- Keep away from all downed power lines. A power line that touches the ground can shock or kill you, even if you do not touch it. The electrical current can travel through the ground and into your body.
For more electrical safety information, go the CPSC’s Web site at http://www.cpsc.gov.