Attention Fire Departments: The Dangers of Aerial Ladders and Electrocution

High voltage power lines present a variety of dangers to people who work in close proximity to them, such as firefighters. Instances of firefighters being electrocuted by high voltage power lines while climbing ladders is too common. And, it can often prove fatal. So, what can fire departments do to prevent this from happening, and improve aerial ladder safety? In addition to training, designated safety officers, and standard operating procedures, fire departments can use Sigalarm’s High Voltage Power Line Warning systems to keep everyone safe.

Sigalarm | Attention Fire Departments: The Dangers of Aerial Ladders and Electrocution

How These Electrocutions Happen

When working in the field, firefighters often use aerial equipment, including ladders and platforms. These tools control and dissipate fires and are often in close proximity to high voltage power lines. Due to situational stress, firefighters may not be aware of nearby power lines, thereby coming in contact with one and thus causing electrocution. To avoid this, fire departments must continue to improve standards within their teams relating to aerial ladder safety and high voltage power lines.

How to Avoid Contact

Avoiding direct contact between power lines and aerial equipment seems like an easy fix, of course. However, high voltage power lines radiate an electrostatic field that can also charge aerial equipment and cause electrocution. This makes it imperative for all firefighters to understand the best practices and safety guidelines for working with aerial equipment.

How to Stay Alert in the Field

Some fire departments have implemented an incident safety officer whose primary task is to observe and alert those operating the equipment of any possible hazards. This officer should be distinct from the incident commander so he or she can focus attention on anticipating safety issues. Ongoing and frequent training for all firefighters is also a valuable tool in avoiding electrocution dangers.

Sigalarm has worked for decades to help companies and utilities, like fire departments, mitigate risks of high voltage power lines. Sigalarm’s high voltage proximity alert systems offer audio and visual cues when power lines are too close. They can also be adjusted to fit onto telescoping equipment as necessary. This makes Sigalarm’s alert systems ideal for aerial ladder safety.