PECO repairman burned Thursday, January 10, 2002 A PECO Energy Co. repairman was burned yesterday as he checked a malfunctioning electric meter outside a commercial building on Biles Island in Falls. Steve Schrader, 36, was burned when a "flash fire" erupted about 8 a.m. after he removed the meter's glass cover, PECO spokesman Michael Wood said. The fire caused second-degree burns on Schrader's cheeks and left ear. A piece of flying metal left a third-degree burn on his face, Wood said. Physicians at Capital Health Systems' Fuld Campus in Trenton told PECO that Schrader wouldn't need plastic surgery. He was expected to stay the night at the hospital and be released today, Wood said. Schrader, a PECO energy technician since 1995, was wearing safety goggles, a hard hat and fire-resistant clothing - the standard gear for field workers, Wood said. He added that the gear most likely prevented Schrader from being more severely burned. Schrader was following up on a complaint of a damaged meter at the Penn Warner Group, a building on Biles Island, Wood said. The Penn Warner Group is a subsidiary of Waste Management Inc., which owns the island, WMI spokeswoman Judy Archibald said. The problem was caused by a circuit board owned by Penn Warner Group. As a precaution, PECO shut power to the building, Wood said. Most of Biles Island's 467 acres are mined by the Penn Warner Group for the stone and gravel used to bury trash at WMI's landfills in Falls and Tullytown. About 41 acres of the island's northern tip have been designated a wildlife preserve, Archibald said.
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I DO think it need to be explained that removing meters can be risky business! I went on a trouble call years ago and found the panel main lugs to be corroded from lack of Noalox. I proceeded absent-mindedly to pull the meter so that I could clean up the panel end connections..little did I realize that the same problem would be present at the meter socket! I was lucky, when the guts shorted out I had the meter between me and the fire flash, and I fell over backwards due to the exertion of pulling the meter and the automatic response to the explosion. The power company never did find the meter that got tossed across the street and into the woods!
Posted it in three different forums in hopes that as many people as possible will see it. If you review who visits the forums you will see that not everyone has time to visit each and every forum. There has been a lot of discussion in some of the other forums about Flash Protection, Nomex uses, PPE, etc. and this accident serves the point well. Thanks for your feedback, but you can just ignore my post if you find them offensive or bothersome.
No offense, Don, but I for one rarely go to any other forum than ECN, and I would not have heard about it had it not been posted here.
I find it hard enough lately to have the time to read every post in just this one forum, and as it grows more everyday, I find it harder to keep up. I've lost interest in some of the other forums due in part to the large amount of posts to read.
I mean no offense, but I am at least one example of one who may have missed it otherwise.
-Virgil Residential/Commercial Inspector 5 Star Inspections Member IAEI