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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. #61
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    bump..........
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115


  2. #62
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    EastKY,

    Like you we tend to do things like pulling meters. I don't becuase I feel that one I don't get paid to, and two I am not trained to. Since the thread was bumped I will say this. When I took the FF1 and FF2 test I remember the state saying that we preferr yuo not to. You can either wait for the electric compnay to arrive and if it is RECC soon if KU two years. But they recommend you trying to reach teh circuit breaker and power down that way for the time being. You department will not be covered if they pull the meter and do something wrong.
    Thanks
    DM
    ___________
    "I am telling the truth, I was driving through the warehouse and the wall jumped in front of my fork lift. I honked the horn and it never listened."

  3. #63
    Forum Member RLFD14's Avatar
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    Most of the high points have been covered here, but this is a good topic. I work for the power company for my "real" job, I am a power dispatcher. So while I don't ride in the bucket, I am the guy who (among many other things) tells the trouble crews and switchmen where to go and what to do (or not do) to avoid killing anyone and keep the lights on. As such we are also trained as "qualified switchmen" so theoretically we can do their job in a personnel pinch.

    ** Never NEVER EVER pull the meter! Aside from the risks of death/disfigurement already posted ad nauseum, there are no guarantees that it will cut all of the power, and as also mentioned it still leaves the service line to the meter with potential. This paragraph alone should make everyone realize that the risk/benefit ratio never makes this a good or reliable idea. Have you noticed that when the line crews do show up, they don't pull the meter, either? There's a good reason for that. The meter ain't a switch, and the nozzle ain't an axe.

    ** Lineman's gloves are visually inspected daily and fully inspected and tested every week using specialized equipment not found in the average fire station. If your department has lineman's gloves, you should be following the exact same testing standards as the line crews do or you should get rid of them. To illustrate, how would you feel about line crews carrying SCBA on their trucks, rarely using them, testing them just twice a year, and having faith they know how to use them in a tight spot? Would you accept liability for training them if that was their maintenance and level of proficiency? And if you use gloves, are you dry and clean and in an electrically-insulated environment (fiberglass bucket, etc) when you use the gloves, or are you soaking wet and standing in a puddle of water on the ground?

    ** Also, bear in mind the spreading popularity of something called "dual fuel", where homes with more than one heating supply source enter into an agreement with the power company to put their electric heat (water/forced air/etc.) on a different meter that the power company can remotely shut off at times of high demand. The dual fuel meter is generally not "downstream" from the regular meter nor necessarily even located by the regular meter, and since it doesn't serve lights or outlets you would be hard-pressed to realize that the dual fuel tap still has potential.

    I sympathize with those who can't get a line crew out fast enough, but this isn't any different than any other risk situation.... would you approach a vehicle fire with no mask on if you had to wait too long for the SCBA to show up? Would you barge into a call for a suicidal pt. if the PD was taking too long? Then don't pull the meter just because the power company is taking too long.

    Stay safe!

  4. #64
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    We have a policy specifically prohibiting the pulling of meters. It's just not a safe thing to do.

  5. #65
    Forum Member fireguy919's Avatar
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    some of you guys must be nuts. one pulling the meter is useless at this point. most cases when you pull the meter the tongs inside that meter connect the meter to the in house service. when you pull the meter they close. there is still power in the house. all your doing is giving false hope to the guys inside. get ahold of your power company have them come in and show you how they work. all that your going to do is help the webteam post the next lodd if you keep this pratice up. not to say for anyone who's been on the internet and by passed the meter. god bless and be safe. remember its 2005 not 1985.

  6. #66
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    IMHO --
    Treat it like a haz-mat.

    If you're not properly trained & equipped for it, you don't go playing in it.

    I know there's a few departments out there that do go "full bore" and do it right -- have gloves & tools they rotate through with the electric utility to keep them tested, etc and I think it's skills Firefighters can reasonably learn to do safely.

    But that doesn't mean all our departments are or should be spending their time training & equipping to that level.
    IACOJ Canine Officer
    20/50

  7. #67
    Forum Member Station2Capt's Avatar
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    We like most of the other posts DO NOT PULL METERS. If I am IC when I do my 360 upon arrival if I see an outside panel I will hit the main. Granted I can not gurantee that this is the only electrical feed to the building but it is better than walking by it. I also kill the main if I see it because that is one less thing I have to assign and it does not take but a second and I am walking right by the panel anyway on my 360. As far as the Departments that pull meters and wear the lineman gloves, and they have not been inspected in years you are taking a big risk.Our local Electircal Co. gave a class a couple of years back and they handed out a pair of lineman gloves like they carry. The instructor asked everyone to inspect them and let him know if they were in good condition. Everyone looked at them, filled with air and squeezed to see if there were any pin holes, none found, We would dip in a bucket of water and see if any leaks, none found. They appeared fine. Then he proceedes to put them on this devise that they test them with and low and behold they failed due to one very small pin hole that you can not detect with just the visual inspection. What would happen if you had these gloves on and went to pull a meter the potental was there and the demonstration was an eye opening experence. If you do pull meters PLEASE be careful I would hate to read about you on this site that you were injured or worse due to pulling the meter. Stay Safe and lets keep up the good informative threads like this one going
    A "Good" fire is not measured by how big it is, but by the fact that everyone is going home safe, and that we possibly learned something new about firefighting. Member:IACOJ

  8. #68
    Forum Member HFRH28's Avatar
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    Oddly I was thinking about this as I was getting dressed this morning listening to a structure fire. Around here the power co. is called after FD is paged, then once FD arrives a pole number is given, even then it usually takes 20-30 minutes for the power company to arrive. We do NOT pull meters. After watching the video of a meter explosion i would rather take my chance with a 120VAC buzz than the exploding meter. We flip all breakers and the main disconnect, and lockout/tag out on the 3 phase disconnects for commercial buildings. Generators are another issue to watch for, but generally i would hope you would hear them if they begin to fire up, and truly should be killed before they have the chance to start. A huge problem around here is bootlegging power. I've seen trailers running off the dollar store orange drop chords. I've also seen a trailer park running one of those drop chords across a field to the neighborhood well pump. It happened to get a gash in it and the dew fell and arced and caused haywire in the breaker. We got paged and cut her main breaker (no choice). Later that day the landlord cut it back on not fixing the problem. Next morning, same thing happened only this time we called code enforcement and made the landlords day, and kept us in bed the next morning.
    Last edited by HFRH28; 03-30-2005 at 11:57 AM.

  9. #69
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    I atteneded a lecture that was run by the electric company and NATA. and were told not to pull meters. the guy said "pulling a meter will still leave power in the house all you are doing is removing the electric companies cash register" I guess since he had over 25 years working as a linesman for an electric company he knew what he was talking about.

  10. #70
    Forum Member ndvfdff33's Avatar
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    If you ever need a meter pulled give me a holler...I'll call the guy at my work who recently, while backing in his trailer to a Grocery Store some how tore a power meter off the side of the building..I'm sure he'd be glad to assist
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

    Ryan

  11. #71
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by pengman
    I atteneded a lecture that was run by the electric company and NATA. and were told not to pull meters. the guy said "pulling a meter will still leave power in the house all you are doing is removing the electric companies cash register" I guess since he had over 25 years working as a linesman for an electric company he knew what he was talking about.
    I don't know some people still don't get it!
    ‎"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

  12. #72
    Forum Member jerrygarcia's Avatar
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    I will pull a meter if absolutely neccessary. If anyone has to pull one on the scene, I would rather it be me.

    The power company is called to dispatch a crew to a 'working fire' response in our department. Sometimes they're quick, sometimes not.

    I've seen quite a few posts about power being on after the meter is pulled. I've seen it myself(meter wired through hot, or a jumper from the next house to backfeed). I haven't seen any of these meters that stay hot when the meter is pulled other than general CT meters and they're identifiable if you know what you're looking at. I'm not saying they're not out there in the world, just not in my corner.

    I wouldn't mess with anything that I didn't know about. Sometimes it is neccessary to pull it. I would rather shut down the main breaker or a main disconnect if is viable and the fire isn't in the basement involving the panel.

    I've seen some of your posts that say you shut down all of the breakers and the main. I only shut down the main if it has one, and try to leave the breakers in condition found if the investigator needs to see them.

    I'm an electrician by trade outside of my fire career. I am not ignorant to electricity, I have respect for it.




  13. #73
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    I guess we were spoiled for a lot of years because our former chief was a lineman for Entergy, but he's gone now. He would pull meters routinely, and we have some of the older members who will also. I've never done it, makes me nervous. We don't have a specific policy prohibiting it, but maybe we should.

    In our area, I don't know if it's due to lack of codes or whatever, but I see very few residences with main disconnects (my house included). You'd have to pull all the fuses (no breakers) to kill the house, and even then you wouldn't know about the other fuse box inside.

    We also have run across the problem with people stealing or "sharing" electricity between houses, bypassed meters, and a number of other situations that complicate the issue.

    And regarding the gloves...We used to carry lineman gloves on our engines but threw them out some time back, for the aforementioned reasons. They had been on the truck for YEARS and I know had not been tested in that time. They look fine under visual inspection but are only providing a false sense of security.

    I used to work in a chlorine plant where we'd have to catch samples on the chlorine cells that had about 60-70K volts running through them. We had to wear electrically tested gloves to catch samples and we had to test them EVERY DAY. The average fire department doesn't have the resources for that.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
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    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  14. #74
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    It's funny, the day I first spotted this thread a man from the electric company came to the fire house to replace the meter. I talked to him about it, and he showed me his meter puller which is a plastic enclosure with gas vents out the side to keep the man safe if the meter should break. He said if the meter breaks then there is a dead short and lots of sparks will fly. Vaporizing metal near human skin is not a good thing to do.

    The NEC states that all electrical services are to have no more than 6 shutoffs. Breakers and switches are designed to be safe to operate and they are what I will use to cut power.

    Birken

  15. #75
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    Research project for someone...

    Research stats on how many FF are injured each year by electricity during INTERIOR (not on the exterior) operations.

    Not anecdotes, actual statistics.

  16. #76
    Forum Member Station2Capt's Avatar
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    Good Idea George, we were talking just yesterday at the station and this subject came up. I told them that there was a lot of talk on this forum about pulling metere over last few days. One of my guys said heck I think I am going to look into how many firefighters are hurt every year due to getting shocked while inside fighting fire. I bet the stats are pretty low, at least low enough for us to justify waiting until the local electric company shows up to pull there meter.
    A "Good" fire is not measured by how big it is, but by the fact that everyone is going home safe, and that we possibly learned something new about firefighting. Member:IACOJ

  17. #77
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    per our power supplier, we do NOT pull the meter. trip the breaker and wait for the power company

  18. #78
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    NIOSH Bulletin. Note the last bullet point.

    http://www.healthandsafetycentre.org...00/ha0011.html

  19. #79
    Forum Member SafetyPro's Avatar
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    I know I already responded to this awhile ago, but we just had a drill the other night on safely working around electrical distribution systems. It was conducted by one of our Engineers who's full-time job is as an electrical engineer with Southern California Edison.

    SCE has produced a great video on the subject specifically geared towards first responders, which was done in conjunction with OCFA, LACoFD and several other local FDs. It covers all the different scenarios (downed wires, fires in substations, DC'ing power to a house, etc.)

    One thing that was specifically said in the drill (can't remember if it was in the video or from our Engineer) is to not, under any circumstances, pull a meter due to the risk of the meter exploding and the fact that it may not actually de-energize the house.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

  20. #80
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    The link Norm provided stated the following
    -Attempt to extinguish a fire in an identified "grow house" without entering the building
    -Stay out of the structure until the power has been turned off by by the appropriate power authority's qualified and trained worker
    So I guess we shouldn't be doing any more interior attacks, right? if you get a room and contents fire, try and put it out from the outside, and if you can't, wait until the power company comes to shut off the power, then go inside?

    yeah, it sounds good in theory, but the reality is that you'll be waiting for hours while the house is burning in front of you.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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