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View Poll Results: Do you pull electric meters?

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  • Yes, any time crews go in.

    21 14.89%
  • No, never.

    86 60.99%
  • Only under certain conditions.

    34 24.11%
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  1. #41
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    All well and fine if you have been PROPERLY trained to pull meters.Could be a real eye opener if you haven't.Sometimes working "smarter"means there is a reason the people that work with these things everyday are VERY respectful of them.Pulling a "loaded"meter is a lot like pulling a hi voltage fuse under load.It can be quite dramatic.T.C.


  2. #42
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    Our dept does not pull meters and have instituted many interior attacks with the power still on and my hair isn't curly .We follow Capt Gonzo's line of thinking. There is actually more hazard at pulling it than leaving be.Maybe our area is luckier than most in that the utility company can have a supervisor there in 20-30 min and he will look things over,consult with the IC and do what is necessary to mitigate the power. As a matter of fact, sometimes they decide to leave it on and that has proved to be downright handy.

    I took an electric/gas seminar last fall from our local uility company and learned a tremendous amout in the 2 days I was there.They have a complete facility that they make available to f/f around the state. You don't have to be under their juristiction to atend. There were even a couple guys from VT. in my class. The instructors made no bones about leaving the lines and the meter box alone. They went through the DAILY safety checks their linemen go through with each piece of equipment. If there is any minor flaw or question of one, the piece of equip is replaced. We as a rule probably don't do that." Oh, that'll be OK Fred"

    The point about back up power systems is also very valid as these are designed to take over in the event of power interruption. You pull the box,don't check a circuit and a false sense of security results in a tingle for some one. I'd rather approach knowing for sure there's power and adjust accordingly.

  3. #43
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    We are lucky in that a house on fire brings an electric company crew in about 10 minutes. Power is disconnected by them, at the pole, not the house. Disconnecting at the house still leaves live wires overhead that still may fall/get damaged during a fire. They get cut at the pole by the power company and that leaves 0 chance of electrical problems (unless items noted by TheNozzleman above).
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  4. #44
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bones42
    Disconnecting at the house still leaves live wires overhead that still may fall/get damaged during a fire. They get cut at the pole by the power company and that leaves 0 chance of electrical problems (unless items noted by TheNozzleman above).
    Very good point, Bones........ Never forget about the lines going between the pole and the meter.......

  5. #45
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    CT Loops, small round plastic looking rings at the service entrance to commercial buildings, mostly 3 phase service. Measuring devices for the amount of energy being used by that structure, no glass meter. problem? hehe Next time you do a preplan at a commercial building, notice if these loops are there, then note where the SERVICE disconnect is located. There are two different types of disconnects, SERVICE and MAIN. Know the differences. and note them on the preplans.

    Cutting the service drop DOES NOT always cut the power. It interrupts the power. Extension cords from the neighbors house, back up generators, solar panels, etc. Look for these things in the inital size up.

    Our department jsut recieved a class from our local co-op also. They told us not to pull meters. And their company would not take the liability of teaching us how to pull meters. Does yours?

    We still carry the blank covers to cover the meter pan after pulling, but after an acid bottle fell on me that was sitting atop a 3-phase meter I had pulled, I wait for the co-op to show up. Most of the local guys have scanners and are on the way about the same time they are notified.

    Things to think and plan about.
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    "We make house calls"

  6. #46
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    After 25 years as an electronics geek my policy is to treat any potential over 50 volts as a loaded gun. Sure, I can work around high voltage OK but youíre only allowed a few mistakes (I donít think the linemen even get one), and I already made my few. I consider every circuit to be live, even when I know itís not, and I constantly check with a meter to make sure. Pulling a meter may or may not kill power to the house but how do you know unless you check with a meter? Does everyone carry a meter on their trucks? Meter leads go bad just like the linemen gloves mention here, I found that out for myself when I plugged myself into a 440vac circuit, the damn current ran right up the meter leads and zapped me. Do you check your meter leads?

    As a matter of policy we donít pull the meter but I would if I decided it was necessary, because weíre in the business of taking calculated risks and I believe I could determine when it was appropriate (news flashÖ.fireman whflhff dies from electrical shock while removing meterÖ..). Heck, itís a calculated risk to work the fire with the power still on, we decide that the shock risk of removing the meter is greater than the shock risk during fire fighting operations. Either decision can be wrong.

    And yeah, in our area aux. generators are becoming real popular. Just one more thing the officer needs to remember to look for during size up.

    Bill.

    [edited for spelling]
    Last edited by whflhff; 04-01-2004 at 08:57 PM.

  7. #47
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    At one time we used to always pull the meter for structure fires. Entergy even used to keep us supplied with the plastic covers. 5+ years ago Entergy came to us and gave us a training class on what can happen to electric meters. They asked us not to pull them anymore. It has been a long time since a meter was pulled but it will still be done in very rare instances.

    Entergy's response time depends on where the call out guy is coming from. Except for during the day when they get there pretty quick.

  8. #48
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    Pull the meter and replace it with a plastic cover.

    We also have cut drip loops. (Scary)

  9. #49
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Simple answer

    Don't do it...too many unknowns!
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
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    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  10. #50
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    new to the boards, but i thought i could put my .02 in when we can't get to the fuse box or if the have a by pass, at times they just bybass the meter an have it jumped then cut if we need/have to.

  11. #51
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    All well and fine if you have been PROPERLY trained to pull meters.Could be a real eye opener if you haven't (Rescue101)
    Here, there isnt much to pulling meters. I don't know if it is different else where. There is a little plastic or sometimes metal tag on all the meters. We take pliers, break that tab off, then push/pull down on the meter and it will slide off. Yes this may cause some sparks to fly, but nothing serious.
    ---Steve---

  12. #52
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    wow, i am suprised at how many do not pull the meter. during the academy they made it sound like EVERYBODY pulls meters and they hammered it into our heads that whenever you go in, you pull the meter.

  13. #53
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    This is great timing for a thread. Illinois fire departments got letters today from Illinois Power telling them NOT to pull meters, call them ASAP. They will no longer provide the plastic covers that they did in the past and we are to return any covers we have to them. We have pulled them in the past if we couldn't get to the main disconnect. Our policy will now change as soon as I get it written to NOT pull meters and to always call the power company immediately. If they want to come, let them do it.
    We do have a few services left that used the inductive things on the service wires to measure the usage. They're old and can be easily identified by a small (3/4-1") conduit running down the pole to the meter. Pulling these meters will not disconnect the electricity to the building. We've only got a few 480 volt services, but pulling those meters will still leave the high voltage leg hot so turning off the main disconnect is the only way to go with them.
    We have another utility company serving out area so I need to check with them as far as their policy.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

  14. #54
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    This is great timing for a thread. Illinois fire departments got letters today from Illinois Power telling them NOT to pull meters, call them ASAP. They will no longer provide the plastic covers that they did in the past and we are to return any covers we have to them. We have pulled them in the past if we couldn't get to the main disconnect. Our policy will now change as soon as I get it written to NOT pull meters and to always call the power company immediately. If they want to come, let them do it.
    We do have a few services left that used the inductive things on the service wires to measure the usage. They're old and can be easily identified by a small (3/4-1") conduit running down the pole to the meter. Pulling these meters will not disconnect the electricity to the building. We've only got a few 480 volt services, but pulling those meters will still leave the high voltage leg hot so turning off the main disconnect is the only way to go with them.
    We have another utility company serving out area so I need to check with them as far as their policy.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

  15. #55
    Senior Member upinflames60's Avatar
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    Default Hotsticks

    We don't pull meters, unstead we are given hotsticks from the local power company to pull the fuse from the transformer. We have a couple of members in the dept. who work for the power company so we are pretty lucky.
    Last edited by upinflames60; 04-07-2004 at 02:29 PM.
    Burgess Wills
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    Chuckatuck Vol. Fire Department

  16. #56
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Default Not as easy as it looks

    Ocfd 1211 Steve, what I said still goes.If you have been TRAINED by the power company how to pull meters that's fine.As I stated, if you haven't been trained,some very nasty things can happen.Major arcing and meter explosion are two that come to mind.Different jurisdictions have different policies but we WON'T pull a meter.Period.Our electric company STRONGLY advises against touching them,they've showed us the video of the meter exploding,and that's enough of a convincer for me.Seldom has been the time when they aren't timely in cutting the power and if the situation is that life threatening I can ask for a grid "dump".But if you do,you had BEST have a LIFE threatening situation.Or you will get a major league spanking. T.C.

  17. #57
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    We call city light & power and their response times are pretty good. We used to pull meters a lot, but seem to have gotten away from it lately. Recently one of our guys got zapped by hanging wires before light & power got there. They trained us on how to pull them and gave us the covers. We'll probably do it more often now.

  18. #58
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
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    I've avoided comment so far, but I'm glad to see only 13% still do this. Even that percentage is too high, IMO.

  19. #59
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    I did see a video of a meter exploding as a firefighter pulled it. The firefightetr lived, but suffered career ending injuries and required extensive plastic surgery to his face and hands. Trust me, brothers and sisters..it isn't worth the risk.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  20. #60
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Originally posted by CaptainGonzo
    I did see a video of a meter exploding as a firefighter pulled it. The firefightetr lived, but suffered career ending injuries and required extensive plastic surgery to his face and hands. Trust me, brothers and sisters..it isn't worth the risk.
    AMEN!!

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