There are quite a few utility poles along the sidewalks outside my house. They all seem to have ground wires , and some of them also have guy wires. (i'm getting these names from the diagram here)

For the average person walking on a sidewalk, are any of the wires (particularly the ground and guy wires) dangerous in normal circumstances - as in, if someone were to accidentally touch either of the wires, would they be electrocuted? If these aren't normally dangerous, are there special circumstances in which these are dangerous? How cautious do I need to be around utility poles?

  • \$\begingroup\$ As long as the high voltage lines at the top are not down, there is no danger. If the high voltage wires break or come down, you should not go anywhere near the area. \$\endgroup\$
    – mkeith
    Jan 25 '17 at 5:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ is there any way a guy wire could accidentally come in contact with one of the high voltage lines? also, how does the ground wire work? my understanding is that it's meant to guide electricity into the ground in the case of a lightning strike. presumably, there's no electricity flowing through the ground wire in normal circumstances? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 25 '17 at 5:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have never heard of such a thing. But I am not an expert in this area. \$\endgroup\$
    – mkeith
    Jan 25 '17 at 6:07
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Try not to walk into them (utility poles, guy wires, trees) \$\endgroup\$
    – Neil_UK
    Jan 25 '17 at 8:42
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this has nothing to do with electrical engineering design \$\endgroup\$
    – Voltage Spike
    Jan 25 '17 at 16:54

The biggest risk posed by a utility pole is probably injury as a result of tripping over a guy wire. Besides that, neither the ground wire or the guy wire pose a threat to your safety during normal operation. They would only be dangerous if they were to be electrified by a fallen high voltage line, and because both wires are connected to ground, you would likely observe arcing that would alert you to the danger.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Also, a poorly maintained and half rotten utility pole could fall in a storm and smash somebody's head in. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dampmaskin
    Jan 25 '17 at 9:10

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