What you can do
The Jodie S. Lane Public Safety Foundation's advocacy has pressured Con Edison and the Public Service Commission to improve safety in New York City and upstate New York. For example, Con Edison will perform 12 mobile scans for stray voltage in New York City in 2009, which will help reduce pedestrian risk.
However, there is much more to do. Con Edison should continue this current scan frequency in NYC indefinitely, and upstate scanning needs to become a higher priority. Greater stray voltage data transparency is required to keep Con Edison and the PSC honest, and the public informed. Lend your voice to our efforts. Sign your name to these petitions to apply pressure to Con Edison, the Public Service Commission and upstate utilities.
Educate yourself about the hazards of stray voltage, actions you can take, and situations to avoid in order to decrease the risk of injury or death to you, your family, and pets/companion animals.
- If you have been shocked, immediately call 911. Also report the shock to Con Edison at 1-800-75CONED (1-800-752-6633);
- Avoid contact with open or damaged streetlight bases, especially if you see exposed wires. In NYC, call 311 to report this condition. In Westchester County, contact your local municipality;
- Do not walk in areas where there is construction taking place;
- Avoid salted areas, as salt is a great conductor for electricity;
- Avoid standing water;
- Wear shoes with rubber soles;
- If you are a pet owner, or use a companion animal:
- Avoid using a metallic leash for your dog, fabric is far safer;
- Take a cue from your animal - if he or she is avoiding grates or manhole covers or certain areas of a sidewalk, they may be aware of something that you cannot sense;
- Go to dog parks or other green areas where there is less high powered equipment and less likelihood of stray voltage;
- Help to educate others about the dangers of stray voltage.