Re: A Tragedy
I have had more time than most to get over the initial stun of this
terrible incident. We all talk about safety and things we shouldn't do.
In this case, there are all kinds of things that went wrong and the results
were shockingly bad. Almost the "worst case" one could imagine. We have
all wired up something in a sloppy way or done something "risky" now and
then. However, I think there are few main points to remember.
The first is to stop, step back, look things over, and think about what
action you will take if various "bad" things happen. If an oil filled cap
breaks and catches fire, an arc hits something flammable in the garage, the
HV wiring blows the ground out, you are caught in the HV wiring and can't
get loose... What will you do? It is really simple to have a fire
extinguisher handy or add a few backup grounds here and there. Many simple
precautions could really save you. The main thing is to think through such
accidents so you will be prepared. I don't know of anyone who has spent
extra time and money on a safety precaution that they ended up thinking
were a waste of time. Usually, they have ended up using it!
The second is to not take multiple risks. You may wire up something a
little flaky to test something. However, do everything possible to be sure
that there is only one risk and not have 20 other things that could go
wrong too. You just multiply the chances for disaster. In this case,
there were many many things that were obviously wrong. If just one were
eliminated, the outcome would have been reversed.
The third is remember that things like Tesla coils are really "cool" and
they attract kids and other people who want to join in the fun. However,
almost all the "toys" they are used to playing with are very safe. They do
not realize that this is one device that is like a loaded gun. It can kill
instantly! Kids love to try things for themselves and they like to wait
till your are gone so you won't be pestering them about being careful. The
results could be (an now have been) fatal. Make some way to effectively
disable your system so that others cannot power the thing up if you are not
The only good thing that can come out of this is that we learn from the
incident and do what is possible to prevent it from happening again.
Unfortunately, this is only one of many many disasters that could have
happened. Do everything possible to eliminate the risks. If something
does happen, you are tremendously better off if you have only one problem
to deal with rather than many.
At 08:19 PM 1/21/99 -0600, you wrote:
>This IS traggic! It's been said before "DONT' DRINK AND SPARK"!!!!
>happen even with the safest designs and adding alcohol to equation is
>NUTS!!! I like my beer too, but not before or during a spark night. This
>will remain stained in my mind.
>Tesla List wrote:
>> Original Poster: Terry Fritz <twf-at-verinet-dot-com>
>> Hi All,
>> Roger Drosd learned of a very tragic event. A young child in
>> killed by the electrical wiring of a Tesla coil. Roger kindly collected
>> more facts and details (which I wanted to insure were correct) but there is
>> no doubt what happened. The article from the 1/16/1999 "Oregonian"
>> explains the details.
- A Tragedy
- From: Terry Fritz <twf-at-verinet-dot-com>