Sunday, May 6, 2012

Can 33 Kilo Volts Deter Crime?

A lot of social engineering is devoted to the deterrence of crime. I have to wonder if it's worth it, after reading this: 
A would-be copper thief was gravely injured early Saturday morning when he attempted to steal copper wiring from a live Edison vault, according to authorities. 
The story continues:
Officials say the suspect is “extremely grave” and that it’s likely he was burned by 33,000 volts of electricity.
(Read the entire story...)

Think about it: You have a man who wants to steal copper. Copper is much less valuable than gold. Copper thieves sell it by the pound to scrap dealers. But this Poindexter is not deterred by thirty-three thousand volts of electricity? That is 275 times higher than the voltage of ordinary  house current, which is already quite lethal. If 33KV  doesn't deter someone, then I really don't know what will. It isn't as if he wasn't warned: If you have ever spent any time around high tension equipment, you know that it hums and buzzes; corona discharges snap and spark. And it's loud, too -- it's all very intimidating.

That smoldering bozo is lucky an arm or a leg didn't simply explode -- being turned instantly to steam when he contacted the hot wiring -- assuming the electrical disruption didn't reset his brain, or send his heart into instant fibrillation. What a maroon.

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