TransGard Systems Releases Annual List of Worst Animal-Caused Substation Outages in 2012

(New Freedom, Pa.) — Every year, climbing animals cause outages at U.S. substations that affect hundreds of thousands of customers and cost millions in repairs, man-hours, and lost business. The TransGard team, which has installed its patented animal-prevention fencing at more than 2,000 substations, selected this year’s list from among hundreds of outages that plagued every region of the country.

Squirrels remain a prime culprit for outages at unprotected substations, but snakes, raccoons, domesticated cats and other climbing animals have also caused outages and significant equipment damage, leaving homes, businesses, schools, hospitals —even military bases — without power. This year’s list, in date order:

1. Traffic nightmare. More than 1,527 homes and businesses in Syracuse, N.Y., were without electricity on the morning of February 22, when an unknown animal made contact with a substation. Blacked out traffic signals created havoc for early morning commuters.

2. Exploding reptile. In early May, more than 14,000 people lost power in Oklahoma City when a snake crawled into an Oklahoma Gas & Electric substation and caused an explosion.

3. At ease, troops. Service members at Joint Base McGuire-Dix in New Jersey experienced a power outage in mid-August stemming from a groundhog or a raccoon crawling onto transformers, seriously damaging four expensive high-voltage insulators.

4. Class dismissed. In October, an equipment malfunction caused by an unknown animal at a Public Service of New Hampshire substation knocked out power for the entire University of New Hampshire campus in Durham.

5. The high cost of one curious cat. On Dec. 8, a ringtail cat got caught between the conductors in a UniSource Energy substation in Havasu, Ariz., knocking out power to thousands. Worse, officials had problems getting the substation back online because of “expense and safety reasons.” Each transformer cost an estimated $2 million.

These outages represent a fraction of the widely publicized (and unreported) animal-caused outages at U.S. substations. For more information about how patented TransGard fences eliminate substation outages caused by climbing animals, visit

About TransGard Systems

TransGard’s patented fencing was developed exclusively to eliminate substation outages caused by climbing animals. Since it was founded in 1990, TransGard fences have been installed at more than 2,000 substations in the U.S. and Canada, and as far away as South America. For more information or to request a quote, visit

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