Monday, October 2, 2017

A Lightbulb Moment

Theft of electricity is not unique to South Africa and is an extremely dangerous undertaking, magnified by ten when the person doing the handiwork, doesn’t have the first clue.

17 April 2017, South Carolina USA, unable to pay their electricity bill, a family living in the Friendship community near Seneca had gone without power for several days. Although their service provider Blue Ridge Electric Company does advocate that there are options available to those who cannot pay, in this case, an alternative solution was explored.

In his bid to obtain grid power, the South Carolinian leaned an aluminium ladder up against a pole, climbed up and attached jumper cable clips to an energized conductor. A witness heard a shotgun like sound as 7200 volts arced from the primary wires across jumper cables (designed for 12 volts), through the man's body, down the ladder and into the ground.

After having been jolted from the top of the pole and thrown down to the ground, the man was taken to hospital and with contusions and electrical burns. Having amazingly survived, one wonders what bold endeavour he will attempt next, he is after all, truly a bright spark.


Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager