The Electrical Contractor Network

ECN Electrical Forum
Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals

Books, Tools and Test Equipment for Electrical and Construction Trades

Register Now!

Register Now!

We want your input!


2017 NEC and Related
2017 NEC
Now Available!

Recent Posts
Forum Software Upgrade coming soon...
by Webmaster
Today at 12:03 AM
Re: Fabricating Guards out of Lexan?
by frank
Yesterday at 04:11 PM
Would ELV branch circuits be a good idea?
by gfretwell
Yesterday at 01:26 PM
Why cables look like they do
by Texas_Ranger
Yesterday at 12:33 PM
100% breakers?
by Texas_Ranger
01/16/17 06:13 AM
New in the Gallery:
Desk-mounted "power-board"
Top Posters (30 Days)
HotLine1 20
Webmaster 20
gfretwell 13
Trumpy 12
ghost307 12
Who's Online
1 registered (ampherder), 0 Guests and 40 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#165722 - 07/04/07 07:02 AM Another fatality stealing wire
Jim M Offline

Registered: 08/10/01
Posts: 453
Loc: Chestertown, MD, USA
This was in the area about an hour away from me. Makes it hard to tell the 9 kids why Dad won't be coming home.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Arc Flash Clothing, Gloves, KneePads, Tool Belts, Pouches, Tool Carriers, etc. etc....

#165728 - 07/04/07 10:16 AM Re: Another fatality stealing wire [Re: Jim M]
JValdes Offline

Registered: 06/03/07
Posts: 308
Loc: South Carolina
Sad story. But I am not going to bash the dead man as I do not know what his intentions were. Maybe the family had no food. 9 kids?
I lost all of my hair over 4 daughters.
I hope more people would realize the danger involved in this type of activity.

I read an article about someone cutting down a utility pole (with a tree saw) in search of wire. I guess he didn't realize that the wires were not copper. Or are they copper clad?

Edited by JValdes (07/04/07 10:19 AM)

#165730 - 07/04/07 11:50 AM Re: Another fatality stealing wire [Re: JValdes]
Retired_Helper Offline

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 167
Loc: Maine
Why do long-vacated buildings still have live electrical service? Is it a lack of POCO personnel, or they don't want to go to the expense? With the rise in scrap value for copper (among other metals!), this is going to keep happening. If the person was trespassing, does that prevent his family from bringing suit against the property owner? Can we really blame the property owner?

What was it somebody said about progression without progress? \:\(

#165741 - 07/04/07 12:37 PM Re: Another fatality stealing wire [Re: Retired_Helper]
mxslick Offline

Registered: 10/24/04
Posts: 785
Loc: Atomic City, ID USA
Why do long-vacated buildings still have live electrical service? Is it a lack of POCO personnel, or they don't want to go to the expense?

Or is more specifically that the previous owner/tenant never notified the POCO that they were vacating the building?

I would think the POCO would have an interest in disconnecting vacant buildings, especially large ones. Any idle step-down transformers in the building will present a continuous load that the POCO isn't getting paid for.
Stupid should be painful.

#165745 - 07/04/07 01:13 PM Re: Another fatality stealing wire [Re: mxslick]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Points made ... Now for the 'counter-point.':

If I had to guess ..... the PoCo had disconnected at the meter, and this guy had worked his way to the metering compartment.

Or, it is also possible that power was kept 'on' by the property management company, so as to provide a light for security. Remember, no one ever knows how long the building will be vacant .... and, in the meantime, there will be potential tenants who wish to see the place.

I see no fault on the part od the PoCo. Remember, this "victim" forced his way in so he could steal ... that's burglary, a felony in every state. Then, his efforts would likely have left an unsafe situation for whoever next entered the place - maybe electrocuting them. Some Father figure.

There is only so much you can do to protect folks from their own stupidity. I once saw the results when two guys decided to recycle bricks, from a vacant plant. They started on the ground floor. I was there the day after they were dug out. Darwin strikes again.

I also once spoke to a woman whose son had decided to recycle the 'excess' copper from a PoCo substation. OOPS.

Civilization left the "hunter and gatherer" model millennia ago. It was but a memory, even in Biblical times. It's time we recognized these Neanderthal throw-backs for the danger they pose .... rather than for the sympathy they can inspire.

#165747 - 07/04/07 03:19 PM Re: Another fatality stealing wire [Re: renosteinke]
LK Offline

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
The buildings usually are required to maintain power, to supply fire pumps, and other safety equipment.
"Maybe the family had no food. 9 kids?"

There is always a way to get help, if a family needed food, theft is not one of them.

#165790 - 07/05/07 01:16 PM Re: Another fatality stealing wire [Re: LK]
iwire Offline

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
I don't approve of stealing but I find it classless to speak ill of the dead.

No matter what the reason for this persons death his family likely loved him and will miss him.

I fully understand it was his own bad choices that caused his death.

However us condemning him for it after he was killed seems uncalled for and pointless.
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#165791 - 07/05/07 01:47 PM Re: Another fatality stealing wire [Re: iwire]
Ann Brush Offline

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 155
Loc: Ohia
In Ohio buildings usually need heat even if vacant - so electrical service is never disconnected. There are numerous reasons a vacant building would require power:
Fire protection
Safety lighting
Cooling (even to some minimal level)
Elevator operation
Alarm system
Sump pumps / water inundation prevention

#165798 - 07/05/07 03:50 PM Re: Another fatality stealing wire [Re: Jim M]
e57 Offline

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
A woman and her dog were in the building at the time of the fire and were rescued by an electrical contracting crew working nearby with a bucket lift, said Mirian Saez, director of island operations for the Treasure Island Development Authority. Saez said local youth, copper thieves and homeless people looking for shelter often break into the buildings and cause fire hazards.

Full story

Was told (Rumor) that one of these fires had a partially dissasembled 480 service. Either way, one would figure that word would get around the street that one could die doing such things. (FYI they have only recently installed metering on only the occupied residential building on this former military base.)
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#165802 - 07/05/07 07:36 PM Re: Another fatality stealing wire [Re: e57]
gfretwell Offline


Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9062
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
That is very magnamous Bob but some of us don't feel so bad about this guy. My neighbor (who owns a core drilling company) is ready to shoot the guys who keep stealing his equipment. Certainly we have to assume he is concerned about the 5 figure bill everytime he has to restock his trucks with diamond tools and such but you should be concerned about the dozens of kids who are not getting fed because daddy couldn't work today when he sends home the crews.
Greg Fretwell

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >

ECN Electrical Forums - sponsored by Electrical Contractor Network - Electrical and Code Related Discussion for Electrical Contractors, Electricians, Inspectors, Instructors, Engineers and other related Professionals