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#183955 - 01/28/09 11:20 PM Elderly man freezes to death, power shut off  
wa2ise  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 782
Oradell NJ USA
Man in house freezes to death in Michigan

quote from this article: "He froze to death - slowly and painfully, authorities say - days after the electric company installed a power-limiting device because of more than $1,000 in unpaid bills."

"On Jan. 13, a worker with the city-owned utility installed a "limiter" on Schur's electric meter after four months of unpaid bills. The device restricts power and blows like a fuse if usage rises past a set level. Electricity is not restored until the device is flipped back on by the homeowner, who must walk outside to the meter.

City Electric Light & Power did not contact Schur face-to-face to notify him of the device and explain how it works, instead following its usual policy by leaving a note on the door. But neighbors said Schur rarely, if ever, left the house in the cold.

At some point, the device evidently tripped and was not reset, authorities said. Schur's home was heated by a gas furnace, not electricity, but some gas furnaces do not work properly if the power is out."

Sounds like a form of circuit breaker at the service entrance, at the meter?



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#183957 - 01/28/09 11:25 PM Re: Elderly man freezes to death, power shut off [Re: wa2ise]  
Trumpy  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,214
SI,New Zealand
That is really awful,
especially considering the guy was a war veteran. mad
No-one should ever freeze to death.

But on the other side of the coin, how long do you let unpaid utility bills "slide"?

Last edited by Trumpy; 01/29/09 12:42 AM. Reason: Bad grammar

Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#183960 - 01/29/09 12:17 AM Re: Elderly man freezes to death, power shut off [Re: wa2ise]  
junkcollector  Offline
Member
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 36
Central MN
Originally Posted by wa2ise

Sounds like a form of circuit breaker at the service entrance, at the meter?


Right. It is basically an socket extension goes between the meter and the socket. There is a circuit breaker handle at the bottom.

Here's a link:

http://www.brooksutility.com/catalog/product-detail.asp?ID=509


#183961 - 01/29/09 12:19 AM Re: Elderly man freezes to death, power shut off [Re: Trumpy]  
noderaser  Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 404
Portland, Oregon, United State...
I know that there's a law here in Oregon, that prevents the utility from cutting power if a person is reliant on an electrical device for medical reasons... Wonder if that would extend to heat for the elderly?


#183963 - 01/29/09 12:36 AM Re: Elderly man freezes to death, power shut off [Re: noderaser]  
Trumpy  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,214
SI,New Zealand
I've always been of the opinion that electricity supply should be subsidised for the elderly, especially during the winter.
Look, they've paid taxes all their lives, it's time to give something back to them.


Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#183966 - 01/29/09 01:23 AM Re: Elderly man freezes to death, power shut off [Re: Trumpy]  
leland  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 853
Lowell area, Ma. USA
Originally Posted by Trumpy
I've always been of the opinion that electricity supply should be subsidised for the elderly, especially during the winter.
Look, they've paid taxes all their lives, it's time to give something back to them.


Absolutely!!!!!
Here as well, Elderly and Homes with Young children can not be shut off.

Very sad commentary.


#183978 - 01/29/09 11:51 AM Re: Elderly man freezes to death, power shut off [Re: leland]  
jdevlin  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 402
welland ontario canada
The guy had the money sitting on the table with the bill bill ready to pay it.


#183990 - 01/29/09 06:36 PM Re: Elderly man freezes to death, power shut off [Re: jdevlin]  
Trumpy  Offline


Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,214
SI,New Zealand
Originally Posted by jdevlin
The guy had the money sitting on the table with the bill bill ready to pay it.


Yeah,
Sorry I never saw that bit in the news article.
Sounds like the guy might have had Alzhiemers or something similar.


Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#184003 - 01/30/09 03:11 AM Re: Elderly man freezes to death, power shut off [Re: Trumpy]  
Rewired  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 558
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Our local utility uses the same devices and has the same policy of plugging in a limiter and leaving a note of what was done and how to reset the device, and almost always we still get a call to see why the customers stove and dryer doesn't heat up anymore or they are the only ones in the neighbourhood suddenly in the dark.

A.D


#184020 - 01/30/09 05:51 PM Re: Elderly man freezes to death, power shut off [Re: Rewired]  
Ann Brush  Offline
Member
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 152
Ohia
Something does not add up - he dies in 5 layers of clothing - so he knew it was cold, the story also says that it took several days for him to die (presumably as the house got colder and colder). Yet he fails to check WHY his heat is not on or why he has no/limited electricity? Nor does he call anyone? From the story it's evident that he also would have died if his furnace quit working. If this is the case, then he must have lost significant mental capacity to look after himself and probably should not have been living alone in the first place. If my house's lights/heat go out and I am in the middle of winter I don't just sit there cooling off, I do something about it. It seems to me that the utility co while not blameless is taking more than its fair share of the blame, what about neighbors, family, friends. The story also implies that leaving a note on the door was inadequate - while the largest evidence that something was amiss, the fact that he had no/limited power, goes unmentioned. Is the POCO totally to blame because they don't provide social services checking on residents ability to pay? I dont buy it, we are not getting the complete story.



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