As Snow Melts, Watch Out For Stray Voltage

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Con Ed Cones and Car
Now that the snow is melting, it’s causing even more problems than manhole fires. Con Edison is dealing with reports of stray voltage all over the city, and there’s at least one area to be cautious around in our neighborhood.

If you notice an area with Con Ed cones and a car with a cone on top — like the scene spotted above on Thursday on Dean Street near 4th Avenue — it’s best to give that space a good clearance if you have to walk by. Con Ed is known to hire livery cab drivers to sit near an electrified object or structure to make sure people keep away from them.

Con Ed has also begun roping off electrified areas with a new sign — this one, spotted yesterday in Ditmas Park — to better alert pedestrians and dog walkers to avoid dangerous spots, so watch out for those.

Stray voltage has been a widespread issue across the city this week. On Wednesday, an entire block in Chelsea was closed after many objects were found to be electrified, and on Tuesday, several dogs were reportedly shocked on 5th Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets in South Slope.

NYCdog, a dog owners advocacy group, issued an emergency alert for the five boroughs on Wednesday, urging people and dogs to avoid “manhole covers, sewer caps, metal gratings, Con Edison repair locations as well as all overhead scaffolding at constructions sites,” and to call 911 if you or your dog have been shocked. They recommend you do not touch your pet or the ground if you suspect your dog’s been shocked, but use your leash or other non-conductive materials to maneuver back away from area.

If you suspect there is stray voltage somewhere, you should report it at 1-800-75-CONED.

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