Danger of live power lines demonstrated

Published On: Jun 06 2012 06:56:26 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 06 2012 08:34:41 AM CDT

June 6, 2012: CenterPoint Energy shows how dangerous power lines can be, especially now that hurricane season has started. Gary Striewski reports.

HOUSTON -

Local 2's Summer of Safety campaign is under way and CenterPoint Energy was out Wednesday morning with an electricity demonstration, creating awareness for hurricane season.

CenterPoint Energy technicians used every day things such as tree branches, pieces of clothing and even a hot dog to show what happens when someone touches live power lines.

CenterPoint Energy safety representatives used hot dogs in their demonstrations because hot dogs have the same water content as a finger. So, it was the closest visual example the public could see to a finger getting accidentally roasted. Sticking your finger in a wall outlet is touching 120 volts.

Touching a power line would increase the shock to 7,200 volts.

"Power lines during hurricanes are going to be blown down either by the winds or falling trees. We want everyone to be aware, when they go outside, to be looking for downed wires. It could be our wires, it could be phone cable, it could be cable TV. Any of those lines could be energized at high voltage and possibly cost you your life if you make contact with them," said Greg Dietrich with CenterPoint Energy. "If you have a line touching a fence or touching something, don't touch the 'something.'"

Dietrich said anyone who spots a downed power line should call CenterPoint Energy immediately.

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