Teach children outdoor electrical safety

Children flying kite on summer day

With the gorgeous summer in full swing, many kids are spending more time outside playing in their neighbourhood. Outdoor playtime can be good mentally and physically for children, but there are electrical dangers that all parents and kids should know about.

Be cautious while playing near powerlines

Help children find safe places to play, away from utility poles and powerlines. Remember to look up and look out for powerlines that may be hidden between leaves and branches before engaging in activities like climbing trees, flying a kite or playing with a ball or frisbee. You don’t have to touch a powerline to get a deadly shock – electricity can jump or “arc” to an individual, tree branches or toys if they get too close.

Never climb a fence at an electrical substation

Teach children that the fences surrounding substations are not for climbing. If they lose a ball or toy behind the substation fence, remind them to leave it and ask an adult to call the local utility to have it safely retrieved.

Avoid the big green box

Electric pad-mounted transformers, often green in colour, are common in many residential neighbourhoods and can be tempting for children to play on or around. The role of the transformer is to convert high voltage to a lower voltage power supply for the surrounding houses. These “big green boxes” are safe but can pose a risk if they have been damaged, pushed off the foundation creating gaps, or vandalized.

Explain to children that transformers are not meant for playing, climbing or touching and to never put sticks, fingers or other objects through ventilation holes or cracks in a transformer. If you see a transformer that has been damaged or has a broken lock, report it to your local utility.

Stay away from downed powerlines

Always assume a downed powerline has electricity flowing through it, even if it isn’t sparking. To avoid potential injury, remind children that if they see a powerline on the ground, to stay far away – a minimum distance of the length of a school bus (10 metres or 33 feet) – and to notify an adult who can call 9-1-1 and the local utility immediately.

As families spend more time at home and outside, it’s important to keep electrical safety top of mind. Learn more about staying safe from electrical harm at esasafe.com.

Source – www.newscanada.com


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