WASHINGTON, D.C. - Even as technology improves, the electrocution hazards of the past can resurface and pose a danger to consumers. With satellite dishes, cable TV, cellular phones, and the Internet replacing traditional TV, radio, and CB systems, consumers may be taking out their ladders and taking down their old antennas. If proper precautions are not used, the result can be deadly. In recognition of National Electrical Safety Month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reminding consumers of the serious electrocution hazard when ladders or antennas touch high-voltage, overhead power lines.
CPSC data show that between 1990 and 1998, more than 300 people in the U.S. were electrocuted when an antenna or pole they were holding touched a high-voltage power line. During this same timeframe, CPSC is aware of nearly 150 electrocution deaths due to ladders coming into contact with an electrical line. Overall, CPSC estimates there are about 200 consumer product-related electrocution deaths each year, which is down from about 600 deaths per year in the 1970s.
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