Most people do not realize how close they are to instant death from uninsulated power lines draped perilously close to the top of buildings. Contrary to popular belief, most high-powered electric lines are not insulated. If you touch these lines you will be electrocuted and die.
Fortunately, the National Electrical Code, enacted in virtually all states provides specific regulations which govern the height of electrical lines that are strung close to buildings.
It is a violation of law for electrical companies to place uninsulated electrical lines too close to buildings.
If an electric company violates the law and allows their uninsulated electrical wires to fall too close to a building and if someone is injured as a result, the electric company is responsible for all of the loss which results. Unfortunately, in most cases the loss will be death or serious injury.
We have handled a case involving a young man who was electrocuted because of low hanging, uninsulated electric wires. This young man was on the top of a roof hanging on the outside of a building.
As he stood on the top of the building with a long-handled paint brush he inadvertently raised his paint brush to paint the very top of the building and in doing so the top of the handle of the paint brush came in contact with the uninsulated electric wire.
This contact with the live electrical wire caused the electricity to shoot down the pole of the paint brush and into the hands of this young painter and through his body down to his legs.
Fortunately, the young man survived. However, he was severely burned. As a result of these burns he was a patient at the North Carolina Burn Center and required a long period of hospitalization. When a victim is burned, it is necessary for doctors and nurses to peel off the burnt flesh and scabs in order for healing to occur. This debriding of the burn area goes on for days and is repeated over and over until the wound is healed. Needless to say this process is extremely painful for the patient.
This patient was lucky because he did survive. Unfortunately, many people do not.
It is important to be extremely careful if you are ever on the roof of a building which is in close proximity to an electrical wire. Chances are, that the wire will not be insulated and contact with the live wire will result in death or serious injury.