That’s exactly what the the City of Vancouver, Canada would like its citizens to believe. A man and his dog were severely shocked from a light pole last week, 1-12-11 while walking on a wet sidewalk on a downtown street. Luckily and thankfully, they were not injured or killed. Luck must be on the City of Vancouver’s side—this time.
After learning of this recent case, it is evident to me that the City of Vancouver has completely dismissed the fact that contact voltage exists in their city (I guess they have not been paying close attention to what’s been happening in Toronto, ON, CA and parts of the U.S., including neighboring city Seattle, WA) and poses serious danger to the community. The City of Vancouver is calling this incident a “freak accident”, or “isolated incident”, two phrases I am all too familiar with, dealing with my own city’s denial that such a problem existed to which is now being admitted. The City of Seattle, Seattle City Light has taken action since Sam’s death by doing safety testing on 30,000 light poles, metal plates by an expert inspection team, including Power Survey Company. So far, this team has found over 56 contact voltage issues….so much for SCL’s initial response following Sam’s death, “it was NOT stray voltage, it was an isolated incident”.
Moreover, SCL is after the fact with their safety inspections when they KNEW that contact voltage had been a problem (a report in 2009 by a man whose dog experienced a shock), but much like what the City of Vancouver is doing, chose to ignore it, UNTIL a fatality happened. It was my dog that died, a very loved, important and special dog…it could’ve been someone’s son, daughter, mother, father….
The City of Vancouver should not ignore contact voltage, they need to follow other cities’ protocol and implement a contact voltage safety program that includes inspections and monitoring to reduce, if not eliminate the problems. How about being PROACTIVE City of Vancouver, set the stage for other cities around the world and do something about this deadly hazard before it claims another life, eh?!!
Please see this link for the full story:
In addition, in 2002, Vancouver, Canada, a police dog experienced a severe shock and almost died….please see this link http://www.animaler.com/for-pet-owners/animal-er-stories/bear-the-police-dog
to read the full details. Again, I ask, what is Vancouver, Canada waiting for? A fatality to happen before they will do something to fix this problem so that it won’t happen again? It should NEVER happen to begin with.
Please City of Vancouver, do not wait for a tragedy to happen before taking action. I miss Sam so much.
I would also like to note that it is my goal to see that the City Of Seattle maintains an ongoing contact voltage safety program with routine and regular monitoring and inspecting. Contact voltage just doesn’t go away once repaired…this is an ongoing issue that needs constant attention if we are to have safe streets and sidewalks.