The days are getting warmer and the evenings are getting longer. Summer is one of the best times to be a kid. One way you can help your kids have good memories of outdoor play in the summer is to make sure they’re aware of electrical safety.
Electrical equipment is all around us, and it’s perfectly safe … as long as we keep our distance. Kids are curious by nature, and they don’t always recognize the hazards posed by electric power lines and electrical equipment such as transformers and substations. Just as parents teach their children not to play with fire, they should point out other dangers that may be nearby.
One of the most important pieces of advice parents can provide their children is to never climb onto or touch power lines, transformers, or substations. They all handle high-voltage electricity, and coming into contact with any of them could cause serious injury or even death.
To keep kids safe this summer, we recommend you share this advice with your children:
• Instruct children to stay away from all utility lines, especially playing with a fallen line.
• NEVER play or hang around electric utility boxes or substations. If a toy gets stuck inside any substations, transmission equipment, or electrical equipment, forbid them from entering to retrieve the toy.
• Do NOT climb trees that are near power lines, even if the branches are touching. If the branches touch, you could end up electrocuted.
• Fly kites and toy planes far away from power lines and leave anything if it lands on a wire.
• Stay at least 40 feet away from all power lines and call 911 immediately. The ground can be energized up to 35 feet away or through any water in contact with a downed line.
• Summer showers can bring more than tempting puddles for kids to splash in. They can also leave electric hazards behind. Flooded areas are never safe spots to wade or play in and may be in contact with energized electrical equipment or fallen power lines.
• Make sure children know how to read and recognize signs that read “high voltage,” “danger,” “keep out,” and “caution.”
• Teach children to alert the authorities to a downed power line or other potentially “live” electrical equipment and stay far away (at least 40 feet away).
• Stop playing outdoors if you see lightning or hear thunder.