|Copper Theft: Gain a Buck, Lose a Life|
|Library of Articles - Equipment Tampering/Copper Theft|
Copper theft has reached an epidemic level that is not only affecting the United States, but is international and creating immense global havoc. According to the U.S. Department of Energy the theft of copper costs the national economy around $1 billion per year. The increase in copper theft has disrupted the flow of electricity, created electrical hazards, slowed down construction projects, and knocked out irrigation networks across the United States.
Additionally, when thieves cut locks or chain link fencing surrounding an electric substation they leave a highly dangerous area exposed forinquisitive children and animals.
Stealing material from an electric substation or utility pole can cause not only serious injuries and death, but extensive outages, fires and explosions – consequences that impact innocent people. The minimum damage that can occur is an outage, which may affect thousands of individuals.
Hemmer stated that deaths and damages related to copper theft are completely unnecessary and could happen anywhere.
People must be aware of this kind of theft and that tampering with electric power facilities can result in extremely dangerous situations. Always alert your utility provider when you see or suspect suspicious activity.
Safe Electricity offers these tips to help safeguard against electrical dangers and prevent copper theft:
Copper theft is not harmless. Dealing with any metal and electricity is a dangerous combination, especially when it is done without permission or training. Copper theft places the thief and others in danger.
People who think stealing electric wire is a quick way to earn some easy money should think again. The value of metal is not worth losing a life.