For Immediate Release
October 28, 2005
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City Departments Launch Stray Voltage Checks
As part of the Stray Voltage Task Force that Mayor Thomas M. Menino and NSTAR called for last winter after several dogs had been injured, the City of Boston's Department of Public Works and Transportation Department will begin their annual checks on the city's electrical infrastructure.
"When the issue of stray voltage was brought to the city's attention, we immediately took action," Mayor Menino said. "The Stray Voltage Task Force is a critical component of our response and the group will continue to monitor the city's electrical infrastructure."
The city's Public Works, Transportation and Fire departments, working in conjunction with NSTAR, have already completed a comprehensive sweep of the city's electrical infrastructure, totaling more than 120,000 light posts, traffic signals, electrical boxes, fire poles, plus any metal plates within a certain radius of electrical infrastructure.
In accordance with the Stray Voltage Task Force, all of the city departments and NSTAR will check at least one third of their infrastructure each year, making another complete comprehensive sweep of the city on a tri-annual basis. The Transportation Department, with only approximately 800 intersection traffic signals and school zone flashers, is able to complete comprehensive checks each year. The Boston Fire Department is also able to fulfill their annual checks in a short period of time. With only 1,350 fire boxes throughout the city, the department is able to check them all within a matter of weeks and does so twice a year. Electrical infrastructure is also checked at any time there is maintenance or repairs made.
These departments will soon begin this annual maintenance check. During fall and winter weather, the precipitation and salt add to the conductivity of electricity. Therefore, a maintenance check at this time is the most prudent and proactive strategy to test for stray voltage.