Sunday, April 11, 2010

Prevent Urban Shocks

There has been an increasing number of reports of dogs (and people as well) being shocked by manhole covers, street grates, lamp posts, fire hydrants and other metal objects while walking in urban areas. Horses, dogs and people have been killed or injured by stray voltage.

Doggone Safe is concerned about the welfare of dogs and also the welfare of people who may be around dogs. Dogs are more likely to bite if hurt or afraid and so the presence of these shock hazards increases the bite hazard potential as well.

Since many people may not be aware of this issue we would like to highlight it here so that those of you who walk dogs in urban areas can be careful and can spread the word.

Thanks to Blair Sorrel of Street Zaps for providing the following information. Please visit the Street Zaps site to find out more or to report an urban shock incident.


WHY URBAN METAL ISN'T PRECIOUS- Blair Sorrel, Founder, www.StreetZaps.com

Of course, you want a worry-free walk year-round, so adopt this simple strategy:

EYEBALL THE BLOCK, AVOID A SHOCK.

Take just a few seconds to survey the immediate surroundings and make your trajectory toward a non-conductive surface, ie., plastic, wood, cardboard, rather than risking any metal or electrical fixture. The lowly, free-standing garbage bag, is you and your dog's best friend, most of the time, unless it's snowed and salted. Then you might contemplate indoor products. Consider the safer, hardware-free RopeNGo leash and harness to help shield against a possible zapping and for greater peace of mind.

CONTACT VOLTAGE DOESN'T DISCRIMINATE BY GENDER.

Your pooch's sex is irrelevant. True, the most gruesome scenario is that of a male dog electrocuted by its own urine. Our poster girl sidled a hydrant and limped for five days.Intuit your dog's cues, if resistant to an area, choose an alternative route. Elude potentially live work areas or carry your canine, if necessary. Opt for indoor products such as The Pet Loo, Hammacher Schlemmer's Indoor Restroom, or Wee-Wee Pads, if external conditions are ominous. Dog booties can leak and make your pooch even more vulnerable.

ARE YOU PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH YOUR DOG?

Any of these fixtures might be dangerous, so again, choose non-conductive where and when possible.

  • Street & Traffic Lights can leak if damaged internally, even if the compartment is fully closed and the light is not illuminated
  • While wooden blocks anchor Scaffolding or Sidewalk Sheds, be aware that sloppy wiring by a contractor and/or the use of lighting equipment which is NOT WATER-PROOFED or even suitable for outdoor usage, may still shock a passerby.
  • ATM Vestibules
  • Decorative Lighting
  • Dog Booties may increase the risk of a shock
  • Electrical Boxes
  • Fire Hydrants
  • Fire Police Call Boxes
  • Manhole Covers
  • Muni Meters
  • Phone Booths
  • Service Boxes
  • Street Light Boxes
  • Traffic Boxes
  • Work Areas
After all, why chance it when there's a choice?

BETWEEN YOU, ME, AND THE LAMPPOST.

Tampered equipment can become pernicious so please map (Report Form) damaged fixtures and known hot spots to admonish other pedestrians and alert the utility and transportation department.

Find out more at Street Zaps

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