Neighbors just passed an electricity cable on sidewalk in front of our property

Hi everybody, our first post here does come with a little problematic issue. I wish I could start on a different footstep, but here’s the story. We are a married couple and we travel for work. We were away 2 weeks and at our return we found a cable on the sidewalk, literally passing in front of our entrance door. Possibly the electrical line has been cut off from one of our neighbors and they are getting the connection from another neighbor living next to us, of which they are friends with.
The cable is missing a earthing wire and it is partially exposed on the wiring. Yes, it does not sound good, imagine how we feel about it. We asked the neighbor to remove the cable and replace it with a newer one, in case this is an emergency, because we did not want to be rude and we are new here.
As a result they did not do anything and it is raining a lot.
Could any of you please tell us what should we do next? We have no idea if we should talk to the marie and/or to the fire department. Or is there something else we could do? We would love to hear your advice on this matter.

The pavement doesn’t actually belong to you so they can do what they want and it isn’t really your business, unless it is your electricity they are using.
Ignore it, just make sure you don’t walk on it: when it gets wet the problem will be resolved because there will be a short circuit. Or you could pour a jug of water on it, to make sure.


hahahaha, merci Véronique. The bad weather in Normandie will be anyhow merciless. But the cable actually touches the house and our mailbox and I am only allowed to post one picture as a new user, therefore I can’ t show what is happening in the full extent. Nevertheless, it feels pretty unsafe.

I would contact EDF and ask them to pop by.


If the cable ran past my front door I’m sure that some local vandal would use a pair of insulated cable cutters on it at 4am in the morning. I reckon they would probably cut the cable at both ends in order to steal the maximum amount of it for the scrap copper value. I doubt that anyone would investigate officially, especially as said vandal would have been doing a service in the interests of public safety.
I’m a very sound sleeper myself, and what with my double glazing, I’m confident that I wouldn’t hear a thing.
But then I live in a neighbourhood that has no routine policing, so these things do tend to happen from time to time.
Ce sont les choses qui arrivent.

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That rubbish has surely blown a fuse somewhere already! Hope so. Dangerous!
My own, practical experience would make me find a way to chop it up and get rid of it pronto.
I had a magnificent brainwave to create an extra long extension cable for the river pump, to the house.All it needed was the plug and socket things, at each end. Very eezy peezy. However, I didn’t check, and didn’t notice, that the plastic covering of the wire, had been a tiny bit scuffed, sometime. Leaving very small bits of bare, bald wire, almost invisible.
I plugged it into the mains, without checking, and it worked perfectly. So without UNplugging it, I began to roll it up. In a few moments BIG sparks and burn pain on my hand…the tiny bald spots had delivered how many volts ?
Dunno. It hurt. …
I’ve fixed it all now, examined it carefully. That ludicrous bit of non insulated wiring could do five times as much damage. Maybe kill your cat?
Just throw it out, don’t bother to discuss it.
If you go to gaol for it, no, I won’t attempt to rescue you. I don’t know about bald cable laws, and don’t want to, if they are not reasonable.

My blood ran cold to read @anon78757855 account as follows:

"I had a magnificent brainwave to create an extra long extension cable for the river pump, to the house.All it needed was the plug and socket things, at each end. Very eezy peezy. However, I didn’t check, and didn’t notice, that the plastic covering of the wire, had been a tiny bit scuffed, sometime. Leaving very small bits of bare, bald wire… "

Surely electric leads for outdoor gizmos of any description need to be of a kind with hermetically sealed, waterproof, non-serviceable and tamperproof connections as obligatory.

The idea of jury-rigging DIY leads to a submersible outdoor pump terrifies me, Jeanette. I know you’re made of sterner stuff than most, but EEEEEEEK!! :scream::zap::zap::warning::warning::skull_and_crossbones::skull_and_crossbones:

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mm, well, Peter I don’t think I know the whole story, yet, about fixing wires.
I know enough to keep me alive, and enough to discover the fault in the bit of pro wiring in the photo, (I painted the e-meter, and the brush sparked)…but why am I not dead yet… If all they, and now you, say is true?
I got my Junior GLB badge, for wiring a plug, in 49, and one fine lesson in e-safety, from a Sikh who could speak no English, and I could speak no Sikh, when we were both working at ceiling level on the same bit of scaffolding.
I tried to stop him touching bare wires, but he did it, anyway. Indicating his big rubber boots.
So, cela ne devrait pas nous préoccuper outre-mesure. :blush:

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Lesson one, don’t change duff light bulbs while standing in the bath.

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Hi Christine

I am coming into this conversation a little late - so perhaps you have resolved the situation.

However, it the situation persists and you have genuine concerns, have a word at your Mairie and follow their advice.

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“but why am I not dead yet…”

Rubber soles?
Guardian angel?
Not yet your destiny?
Current flowed from you to box?
Maybe you are dead but the fact has not yet sunk in?
May be spark was your genius which has decided you are not paying proper attention to it and decided to jolt you into action by disguising itself, hiding in your meter box when it spied you with a paintbrush in your hand, and hoping you would join the dots…:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I’ve been painting too, and working with oils and clay… restoring flaky window panes and volets with putty and non-drip gloss.


Thank you Stella! Indeed your solution sounds practical to us. If we would cut it, they would immediately know who did it. The cable is still there, they did not ask if we were ok with it or gave us a time until they plan to solve the problem. The postman also gives me letters by hand and/or does not deliver any longer. Today is holiday here in France, but I’ll pay the Marie a visit tomorrow and ask for advise. Extra funny hint, the police came again to check our neighbors last night, for other reasons, but did say nothing about the cable. And, yes, they are “dodgy” neighbors, thus we are really careful. I’ll post a follow up.

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:rofl::rofl::rofl: indeed surviving France!! :joy::joy::joy:

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A neighbour ran a perfectly good outdoor cable across the pavement from his frontage to the barn. I noticed it but did nothing as it did not worry me - however a friend who was visiting me was shocked (no pun). She went and had a word and the cable was removed.

Had the neighbour needed electricity in the barn for a special reason, it should have been properly organised. Seems he had no right to simply lay his cable on the public pavement without all the permissions and safety stuff coming into play.

Your cable looks positively dangerous and a trip hazard as well.

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That explains a lot Peter, the fumes can get to you! :crazy_face:

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I see no merit at all in doing anything to antagonise neighbours, especially by doing something in anger to send an unspoken message of disapproval.

One is reminded of the wind and the sun competing to see who would be first to get a man to take off his overcoat.

People (like your neighbours perhaps? ) who don’t weigh the consequences of ill-considered action tend to act without weighing the consequences, and those unfortunate consequences might be you.

…can anyone say for sure exactly, what DEAD is, anyway?
If all it’s about is some kind of shift of consciousness, or mebbe, another layer not yet properly IDd, as in, Waking. Dreaming (REM sleep) Dreamless Sleep (non- REM) Transcendental Consciousness (TC) Cosmic Consciousness (CC) Glorified State of Cosmic Consciousness (GC) Unified State of Cosmic Consciousness (UC)…dot…dotdot… plus something else, then perhaps plugging myself into the mains will be my way to experience them all simultaneously.
I’m gradually sorting out Socially Acceptable Ways To Die Without Making an Unholy Mess of It.
A second favourite, very Germanoid, uncle, did the whole thing in reverse. They worked on hours of careful NHS wiring him up, to keep him ticking over, Clockwork Orange style, and, never a patient fellow, he just pulled the whole lot out, when they’d gone for tea and biscuits.


I like your “Germanoid” Onkel.

Re @anon78757855 "gone for tea and biscuits"

I would like to be more Germanoid myself, if that is possible. I intuit a strong hidden potential urging realisation.

If I buy lots of tins/jars of antiseptic Germolene - it used to be widely available - and spread it thickly on my toast each morning, würde ich endlich dadürch Deutsch besser sprechen können, und gesprochene Deutsch fähiger verstehen können, liebe Freundin ? :upside_down_face:

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I see your point Peter, and I thought about it just after I wrote that. The Marie is an institution but it is not reporting it as long as we ask them not to. The lady there has been kind, and there is nothing wrong to ask for an advice. We will see what happens, since, as you said, it is maybe better not to “stir the pot”.

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@Videopirate appraises her mairie positively: :hugs::grinning:

“The lady there has been kind, and there is nothing wrong to ask for an advice. We will see what happens…” etc

I’ve had no neighbourly misunderstandings although our chickend had no clue about sovereign territory or how to listen attentively to advice on leaving lettuce rather than relieving it of leaves, which caused some embarrassment at first.

But I spoke to the maire’s adjoint when a young man in our near neighbourhood asked me, after four incident-free years of innocent interaction, if I could lend him €1.

As he seems to be something of an innocent, and possibly has Aspergers as judged by his speech and general comportement, gave him a €5 note, and did not expect a return. Three days later he knocked at our door and asked me for €10

I told him I was very surprised, and asked him if someone had pressed him to ask for more money. He said no, it was for him. I told him I would reflect on his demand, and if he came the following day we could discuss it more carefully.

He came the following day, and passed me a pencilled note in poor French “vous peuvoir vingt”. I told him as kindly but firmly as I could that I had lost confidence in him, this request had soured our relations ship, and I could not and would not give him any more money. He looked neither shocked nor any obvious remorse, but his feelings are, I think as a generality from observation, not discernible from his behaviour.

The adjoint proposed a personal meeting with the maire and after some thought I agreed. Three days later I met him and recounted the incident to him in some detail. I told him I did not want to make a formal complaint, but that I had some concerns about my wife and me being the possible object of planned exploitation by a third party or parties. I said I didn’t regard the young chap as harmful, but was concerned for his welfare as well as our own.

He asked me a few questions to help him identify the young man, whose name I don’t know although I know approximately where he lives in relation to us. He passes our front door at least once a day and sometimes more often, almost always alone. We have met since in town and have brief cordial and polite exchanges of conversation. He speaks at the rate of a mitrailleuse, with bared teeth, but is never menacing.

Anyway the mayor was very attentive and reassuring. He said “J’y regarderai et je vais vous voir”. Hé said it twice with meaning as I took my leave. I think discreet enquiries will be made, and I think in due course I may be seen by the maire, discreetly. I feel confident in him and much more at ease.

It was good to speak with the maire after four years of residence in the town, and I told him so. We have met occasionally at town functions when he does a round of handshakes with everyone. In the Hotel de Ville he always greets people in reception if he passing through. He is IMO a remarkably enterprising and energetic public servant, modest and humble in his manner.

We live on the same street, about 100m distant from each other.