I was watching an online feed from a reporter on site of those horrible Central Florida wildires. My brother and his family are living up there really close. Anyway, the report was giving an update and since I work for the power company in that area I was interested in hearing any updating power company news and news on my brother and his family.
About 30 seconds into the story, the reporter PICKS UP A DOWNED POWER LINE! Now I don't usually scream in all caps on my blog except when it involves something like this. If that power line had been energized, we would have probably witnessed an electrocution on live TV. Coincidentally a co-worker saw it too and called the TV station to let him know what he just saw from the reporter. He suggested the reporter get back on TV and make a disclaimer that you are to never touch a downed power line and that what she did was wrong and dangerous.
Not only didn't they make that disclaimer later in the program but they repeated the same mistake on the early morning broadcast with a different reporter! It's the worst kind of irresponsible journalism ever!
Anyway since I have a blog that has maybe a few visits I feel it would be responsible blogging to post my own PSA. So here is my PSA.
DON'T EVER TOUCH A DOWNED POWER LINE!
I hope that was a strong enough message. But I am serious. Here is what most people don't understand. Many power lines that lay on the ground look unthreatening. They are usually not sparking or making hissing noises. They look lifeless. Therefore must be de-energized.
Not necessarily true.
A lot of times when the power goes out, generators will start up. If the power line is configured a certain way and a generator is hooked up a certain way, a feedback can occur. That feedback of power going back through the power line can be created by the very generators that are running inside a home or business. So the de-energized power line can actually become re-energized by the generator.
So there you have it. Your power lesson for the day. Oh, and before you go please do me a favor and help me spread the message and tell everyone and anyone what I just told you about downed power lines.