I-Team: Stray voltage laws strengthened

A law, passed as a result of an NBC 10 I-Team investigation into stray voltage, is being made tougher.

Nearly two years ago, the I-Team exposed a potentially deadly problem, stray voltage, also known as contact voltage, found on light poles and manhole covers in Providence.

One dog was killed by the stray voltage in Providence. In New Jersey, a teenager was killed when she touched a fence that was riddled with stray voltage.

The stray voltage is caused by old, faulty wiring in Rhode Island. And National Grid owns most of the areas where stray voltage takes place.

After the I-Team investigation, a law was passed, forcing National Grid to develop a stray voltage detection program. They did, but the company they intended to use to detect the voltage was subpar, according to experts.

According to expert Al Homyk, if a company is of less quality, or expertise, there could be consequences.

"It would be a risk to the public safety. You need to make sure you're using the best available technology to find contact voltage. You need to find it, and fix it and repeat the process over and over again," he said.

An amendment to the original law now demands that National Grid independently verify that a company with the latest technology is used.