A warning from someone that use to work in some of the places being explored.

Help Support Derelict Places:

Angie

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2020
Messages
134
Reaction score
73
I received this from someone that came across the forum and just wanted to make sure all of you stay safe while exploring. Here is his message.....


Electrical safety

As a retired electrical distribution engineer I'm horrified to think of your members wandering around some of the places recently illustrated which have live or partly live electricity supplies, with no more electrical knowledge than "its volts that jolts but mils that kills".
Please advise that there are more than enough volts and mils at the switchboards and distribution equipment shown to burn you very badly or kill you stone dead if you touch any of the equipment shown if it is live.
Any domestic premises will have the possibility of 230 volts at 20 Amps or more. Any significant industrial installation will have available 440 volts at 50 Amps or more. Major industrial distribution systems in factories or works may well have 11000 volts at 50 Amps or more. It WILL kill you - unless you want to take the chance and prove me wrong, after I spent a career establishing procedures to ensure circuits were dead and stayed dead while persons were working on or near them.
 

Wrench

Well-known member
DP Supporter
Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
1,167
Reaction score
1,347
Location
Lancashire
Thanks for the heads up although falling through floors is probably a bigger risk in most of the places we go but I will deffo take that advice on board. 👍
 

night crawler

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Messages
3,820
Reaction score
1,824
Location
North Berkshire.
Seem to remember things like that coming around in the past. few years ago a couple of metal minors fell foul of a live cable once and were killed. I feel it is just a matter of using your common sense if you go into a place that has that has live electricity, you just do not touch it. Thing is when most of you wander around with a Torch anyway. Saying that a surveyor was killed years back when he went through the roof of a derelict church in Bolton which was posted about here so even the so called experts are not immune. I take the message with a pinch of salt but that does not mean people should not be careful wandering around places. As I said use your common sense when exploring it can be dangerous. BTW I'm a retired mechanical technician and I've seen enough crap work done by electricians and engineers
 

Bignickb

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
129
Reaction score
672
Location
Manchester
I have stated many times that if you find a distribution board - do Not switch it on! There could be exposed cables somewhere else in the building that could arc and start a fire! Or Kill other explorers or a copper thief!
 

kahlua

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2013
Messages
15
Reaction score
9
I blame covid & restrictions myself for my awful newfound interest in before and after face transplant stories - some of the most horrifying ones are from accidentally touching live cables - or in one case kicking one away thinking they were wearing rubber shoes & it would be ok... The US firebrigade have frightening videos on electricity arcs - never heard of them before but OMG. Well warned & noted OP. Don’t google if you are vegetarian or have a weak heart/squemish.
 

night crawler

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Messages
3,820
Reaction score
1,824
Location
North Berkshire.
I learned the hard way only I was working at the time, a customer asked if I would swap the poles on a Three Phase, I suck a screwdriver in to undo the screw only to get the biggest belt I ever experienced. It was still live, lucky for me it threw me off but not before the shock hit my chest. I do not like electricity and do not mess with it if I can
 

Darklldo

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2019
Messages
79
Reaction score
49
Location
Tasmania, Australia
Seem to remember things like that coming around in the past. few years ago a couple of metal minors fell foul of a live cable once and were killed. I feel it is just a matter of using your common sense if you go into a place that has that has live electricity, you just do not touch it. Thing is when most of you wander around with a Torch anyway. Saying that a surveyor was killed years back when he went through the roof of a derelict church in Bolton which was posted about here so even the so called experts are not immune. I take the message with a pinch of salt but that does not mean people should not be careful wandering around places. As I said use your common sense when exploring it can be dangerous. BTW I'm a retired mechanical technician and I've seen enough crap work done by electricians and engineers
Still, night crawler I think the warning is valid no matter what sort of electrician might have installed the original service. :)
 

Hayman

Regular Member
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
357
Reaction score
265
Duly noted. Not that I flip switches or touch control panels when I'm exploring anyway but there are are a lot of loose wires about.
Regarding loose wires, I see Tesco has been fined £500,000 after a 10 year old child (sex unspecified) received a shock from a freezer cabinet. I worked for 7 years with a firm that installed chiller and freezer cabinets in cafes, etc. One day I got a 'tingle' from the steel frame of a cabinet someone else had installed. The live and earth wires had been connected the wrong way round on a connector block. This was because the cabinet was Italian, with Italian colour coding for the wires – so much for EU conformity – and the English installer had mistaken which Italian wire was which.. The 1988 Clapham railway accident was caused by a loose live wire completing a circuit that turned signals that should shown red or yellow to yellow or green.

When my parents' house in Devon was being rewired in the early 1950s it was a common practice for an electrician to run a flat live cable from the fuseboard with, clipped to the cable, bulbholders with spikes that penetrated the insulation to light a bulb. The electrician would only plug in bulbs where he needed them, leaving the unused live bulholders exposed. One day, as an experiment to find out what an electric shock was like, I stuck a thumb or finger against the pair of bare live sprung pins of an exposed live bulbholder. I found out! That I was sitting on a wooden staircase might be why I'm still around to tell the tale.

Talking of 11,000 volt substations, a mate in the army who was doing his national service and who'd had his CEGB career interrupted for two years told me of the time he was working on a live substation. He dropped a spanner that bounced its way down through several busbars, ending up a lot shorter than it started. Did the sparks fly!

I was told if you think something might be live, brush the BACK of your hand against it first.
 

Wrench

Well-known member
DP Supporter
Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
1,167
Reaction score
1,347
Location
Lancashire
Let's be honest.... Most of the places we visit have not seen electrictrickery for a long time so no need to get excited, as the thief who kindly spoke said
 

missgreen

New member
Joined
Oct 27, 2018
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Regarding loose wires, I see Tesco has been fined £500,000 after a 10 year old child (sex unspecified) received a shock from a freezer cabinet. I worked for 7 years with a firm that installed chiller and freezer cabinets in cafes, etc. One day I got a 'tingle' from the steel frame of a cabinet someone else had installed. The live and earth wires had been connected the wrong way round on a connector block. This was because the cabinet was Italian, with Italian colour coding for the wires – so much for EU conformity – and the English installer had mistaken which Italian wire was which.. The 1988 Clapham railway accident was caused by a loose live wire completing a circuit that turned signals that should shown red or yellow to yellow or green.

When my parents' house in Devon was being rewired in the early 1950s it was a common practice for an electrician to run a flat live cable from the fuseboard with, clipped to the cable, bulbholders with spikes that penetrated the insulation to light a bulb. The electrician would only plug in bulbs where he needed them, leaving the unused live bulholders exposed. One day, as an experiment to find out what an electric shock was like, I stuck a thumb or finger against the pair of bare live sprung pins of an exposed live bulbholder. I found out! That I was sitting on a wooden staircase might be why I'm still around to tell the tale.

Talking of 11,000 volt substations, a mate in the army who was doing his national service and who'd had his CEGB career interrupted for two years told me of the time he was working on a live substation. He dropped a spanner that bounced its way down through several busbars, ending up a lot shorter than it started. Did the sparks fly!

I was told if you think something might be live, brush the BACK of your hand against it first.
your last sentence is a ridiculous and stupid thing to post
 

mctownsend

Regular Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2016
Messages
20
Reaction score
19
Yup, me and lectrick don't mix well! I leave it to peeps who understand it. Anything else I will tackle - as long as it doesn't involve spiders!!!
 

CridlingJimbo

New member
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
4
Reaction score
3
Regarding loose wires, I see Tesco has been fined £500,000 after a 10 year old child (sex unspecified) received a shock from a freezer cabinet. I worked for 7 years with a firm that installed chiller and freezer cabinets in cafes, etc. One day I got a 'tingle' from the steel frame of a cabinet someone else had installed. The live and earth wires had been connected the wrong way round on a connector block. This was because the cabinet was Italian, with Italian colour coding for the wires – so much for EU conformity – and the English installer had mistaken which Italian wire was which.. The 1988 Clapham railway accident was caused by a loose live wire completing a circuit that turned signals that should shown red or yellow to yellow or green.

When my parents' house in Devon was being rewired in the early 1950s it was a common practice for an electrician to run a flat live cable from the fuseboard with, clipped to the cable, bulbholders with spikes that penetrated the insulation to light a bulb. The electrician would only plug in bulbs where he needed them, leaving the unused live bulholders exposed. One day, as an experiment to find out what an electric shock was like, I stuck a thumb or finger against the pair of bare live sprung pins of an exposed live bulbholder. I found out! That I was sitting on a wooden staircase might be why I'm still around to tell the tale.

Talking of 11,000 volt substations, a mate in the army who was doing his national service and who'd had his CEGB career interrupted for two years told me of the time he was working on a live substation. He dropped a spanner that bounced its way down through several busbars, ending up a lot shorter than it started. Did the sparks fly!

I was told if you think something might be live, brush the BACK of your hand against it first.
You'd be an idiot to even brush your hand against something you think might be live. DO NOT TOUCH IT AT ALL.
 

Darklldo

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2019
Messages
79
Reaction score
49
Location
Tasmania, Australia
Regarding loose wires, I see Tesco has been fined £500,000 after a 10 year old child (sex unspecified) received a shock from a freezer cabinet. I worked for 7 years with a firm that installed chiller and freezer cabinets in cafes, etc. One day I got a 'tingle' from the steel frame of a cabinet someone else had installed. The live and earth wires had been connected the wrong way round on a connector block. This was because the cabinet was Italian, with Italian colour coding for the wires – so much for EU conformity – and the English installer had mistaken which Italian wire was which.. The 1988 Clapham railway accident was caused by a loose live wire completing a circuit that turned signals that should shown red or yellow to yellow or green.

When my parents' house in Devon was being rewired in the early 1950s it was a common practice for an electrician to run a flat live cable from the fuseboard with, clipped to the cable, bulbholders with spikes that penetrated the insulation to light a bulb. The electrician would only plug in bulbs where he needed them, leaving the unused live bulholders exposed. One day, as an experiment to find out what an electric shock was like, I stuck a thumb or finger against the pair of bare live sprung pins of an exposed live bulbholder. I found out! That I was sitting on a wooden staircase might be why I'm still around to tell the tale.

Talking of 11,000 volt substations, a mate in the army who was doing his national service and who'd had his CEGB career interrupted for two years told me of the time he was working on a live substation. He dropped a spanner that bounced its way down through several busbars, ending up a lot shorter than it started. Did the sparks fly!

I was told if you think something might be live, brush the BACK of your hand against it first.
Right on! the BACK of the hand means your fingers won't accidentally, when shocked, grab the wire.
 

Richard Davies

Regular Member
Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Messages
699
Reaction score
78
One of my aunts when she was young licked a light fitting not knowing it was connected to the mains, fortunately she was wearing wellies at the time....

When a building was being demolished near to where I live it was late in the day when they found the main feeder cable was still live & it was cordoned off in a corner until it could be dealt with.
 

Ruggedscot

Regular Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Messages
9
Reaction score
5
I was told if you think something might be live, brush the BACK of your hand against it first.... really stupid thing to say. if you think somethig is live you do not touch it with any part of your body. or any thing not designed as an approved device to test electrics. Ive seen folk plated through stupidity. a current of 0.03A is enough to do you damge if it flows through you. Seriously if you dont know what you are doing... dont do it. Im an appointed person for HV certified to work on distribution and generation systems operating up to 11kV. A fault on an 11kv system could produce a fault level of 250MVA. that is serious amount of power. An electrical fault can develop temperatrues similar to the surface of the sun and also pressure waves that can damge your internal organs. unless you have the correct equipment there is no safe way to identify if a circuit is dead or not. and then you dont know if it is properly made safe and locked off unless you have full knowledge of the system and its operation. electricity along with other utilities should not be messed with !
 

Hayman

Regular Member
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
357
Reaction score
265
your last sentence is a ridiculous and stupid thing to post

your last sentence is a ridiculous and stupid thing to post
I did not suggest anyone should do it; it was simply something I was told. The reason being that the back of the hand will be thrown away from the switch, fuse box, etc – while touching it with the palm or fingers can make the hand muscles involuntarily contract and grasp whatever is being touched. I do not find that ridiculous or stupid. Likewise, never hold a carrot, etc in your fingers when feeding a horse, lest it bites your finger tips; offer it on the flat palm of an outstretched hand.
 

Latest posts

Top