Xiom Offers Solution to Stray Voltage Shocking Incidents

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To help combat and eliminate the growing problem of stray voltage shocking incidents in major cities, Xiom Corporation of West Babylon, New York, offers a portable plastic powder spray system that can apply non-conductive coatings eliminating stray voltage.

On March 2, 2006, a nine-year-old boy reported experiencing an electrical shock when he stepped on a manhole cover on Lexington Ave. near 127th Street in New York City. Dozens of similar incidents occur in major metropolitan areas each year. People and pets are often shocked and, in some tragic instances, killed, due to stray voltage.

Headlines in major newspapers have reported the growing danger of stray voltage on city streets. In response to a significant number of incidents in February and March, the New York City Council held a hearing with representatives from Consolidated Edison and the Department of Transportation. At this meeting it was reported that between December 2004 and November 2005, stray voltage had been detected in 1,214 locations. Despite the efficiency of detection, more than 23 people received shocks and at least one dog was electrocuted. It is clear that detection alone is not a sufficient safety measure.

To help combat and eliminate this growing problem, Xiom Corporation of West Babylon, New York, (http://www.xiom-corp.com) manufactures a portable plastic powder spray system that can apply non-conductive coatings eliminating stray voltage. Since Xiom coatings are hard plastics, they are more durable and weather resistant than conventional powder coatings and paints. Xiom’s non-conductive coatings provide maximum insulation because they can be applied at a thickness up to 20 millimeters, as opposed to paint which is applied at thicknesses of 2 to 3 millimeters. Xiom’s coatings will not peel, chip or crack. On the other hand, paint and other coatings can fail, allowing dangerous voltage to leak through.

“Although the media has reported efforts are underway to enhance detection and reduce hot spots, this emphasis makes me think of an epidemic. Detecting cases of a disease won’t stop further outbreaks or tragic incidents. What is needed is a solution and Xiom has it. We have developed a patented line of electrical insulating spray applications that can significantly reduce the likelihood of shocks,” said Andrew Mazzone, President of Xiom Corporation.

Consolidated Edison representatives pointed out that the surface where the Harlem boy walked was safe when detection crews arrived. They could not say if the area was voltage free during the time leading up to the incident or immediately after. In other words, detecting stray voltage cannot ensure that it will not be present at a later time. According to Consolidated Edison spokesman Michael Clendenin, traffic vibrations and the effects of salt can turn sites that are safe into danger zones.

There is no doubt, the New York City Council recognizes the problem and has called for local electric corporations to “utilize non-conductive protective materials to insulate their electrical-related infrastructure to prevent stray voltage.” The Council defined “non-conductive protective materials” as “any casing of material of sufficient composition or thickness to adequately obstruct the unintended flow of electricity.”

It is apparent that Consolidated Edison is actively looking for problem areas. In fact, the company has purchased 5,000 mobile detectors. Each detector can trace stray voltages on one city block in just minutes. Mobile detectors can only find stray voltage at the moment it is present. For example, in the recent incident with the nine-year-old boy in Harlem, Consolidated Edison investigators could not find evidence of stray voltage. Of the stray voltage that Consolidated Edison detected in the past year, 1,083 occurred in streetlights and 99 in utility poles, which can easily and economically be coated with Xiom’s non-conductive long-lasting polymer coatings.

Xiom Corporation of West Babylon, New York, (http://www.xiom-corp.com) manufactures powder spray equipment and plastic spray materials in its Long Island facility. The company’s on-going research and development is expanding the frontier of spray technology.

Product video and demonstrations available upon request.

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William Corbett
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