6 Electricity Myths That Can Kill

If you hear someone spouting the myths below, set them straight with these tips from NYSEG.com

Reader's Digest Editors

Storm damage got you down and powerless? Don’t become a statistic. The number one rule with power lines is to not touch them. Let the professionals take care of these potential killers. If you hear someone spouting the myths below, set them straight with these tips from NYSEG.com

Myth: Power lines are insulated. 90 percent of power lines are not insulated and even the ones that are could have lost insulation from a storm.

Myth: The line is safe because it’s not high voltage. Actually, voltage is not what will kill you, amperage will. It takes 1 amp to cause fatal heart irregularities. The average house has between 100 and 200 amps running through it.

Myth: A fallen wire will shut off. No it won’t because if it falls on a poor conductor, like asphalt the wire will not short circuit.

Myth: A live wire will make sparks when it falls. Not always. The line will spark when it doesn’t make firm contact, with firm contact it will not.

Myth: Wood is not a conductor. False, wood is just a poor conductor, but wet wood is much better so be careful.

Myth: Rubber gloves and rubber shoes insulate. Only if they are 100% pure rubber. Your typical cleaning gloves and shoes are mixed with cheaper materials and they can be conductors.


Source: NYSEG.com



  • Your Comments

    • Christopher Katko

      You totally screwed up the precise wording from NYSEG to the point of saying completely false things.

    • kralle

      Mind your distance from downed lines.the area near them could be charged up.Current that goes up one leg and down the other can kill.

    • Jackson Fisher

      So you stole this from nyseg, dumbed it down, and then botched the editing. Great job RD!

      • steve jones


    • http://www.facebook.com/ross.dieckman Ross Dieckman

      I worked for a utility and just after restoration following a hurricane, a lineman went to pick up a “secondary”(line from pole to house) that was broken off from the pole but still attached to the house. He was killed instantly….the wire he picked up was being “back-fed” by the homeowners’ generator which the homeowner failed to isolate.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-C-Thomas-Jr/1275946159 James C. Thomas Jr.

      “It takes 1 amp to cause fatal heart irregularities”? It takes 1.1 amps to drive a decent-sized audio speaker. Has anybody fact-checked this article? Looks to me like at least half of these “myths” are myths themselves.

    • paul taylor

      Best thing is to call power co let them handle it.if you can not get power co call 911 they will send someone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Burchstead/1148060377 Paul Burchstead

      Ohm’s law is I = E / R (current = voltage/resistance) If voltage goes up, so does the current. If resistance goes down, current also increase. Standing barefoot on damp floor would increase your chances of being electrocuted, as would grabbing hold of higher voltage conductor.

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.mccleary.94 James Mccleary

      Voltage doesn’t kill amperage does. If a car battery can deliver 400 amps of cold cranking power can you put your thumbs across the terminals? Of course because 12 volts can’t force a hazardous current level through your body. For a lethal current level to exist there must be sufficient voltage to drive it.

    • Whitacers

      As a retired Electronics Tech, I have a healthy respect for electricity (and other dangerous energies): As long as I respect it, I’ll stay healthy.

      • CBinMd

        As I heard once…There are old electricians and there are bold electricians, but there are no old bold electricians…